According to a recent ABI Research report, 15 million wireless devices will be in use by early 2012 to remotely monitor the well-being of elderly or at-risk people. For the next two years at least, most of these devices will consist of medical devices with cellular technology built-in, according to the report.
"Wireless telehealth systems can reduce healthcare costs in a couple of ways," ABI research practice director Sam Lucero stated in a press release. "First, for patients with chronic conditions, wireless telehealth's ability to monitor and track their status allows many problems to be nipped in the bud before they require expensive hospitalization and treatment. Second, the traditional approach to home health care requires regular visits by nurses to check on patients' condition. By providing that same information automatically, wireless telehealth systems can reduce those labor and travel costs."
As always, ABI believes the real sticking point is and will be Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement for these devices and services.
"The industry believes reimbursement for telehealth systems should be more comprehensive and straightforward. Proposed legislation is generating optimism," Lucero stated.
For more on the report check out this article from eWeek