Three million patients around the world were using connected home medical monitoring devices in late 2013, but this number will jump to 19.1 million by 2018, according to a report from research firm Berg Insight. Remote patient monitoring revenues reached $5.8 billion (4.3 billion euros) in 2013 and are expected to grow to $26.4 billion (19.4 billion euros) by 2018.
Around 76 percent of these revenues came from connected medical devices. For the report, Berg only looked at patients who used home monitoring devices to collaborate with a professional caregiver. The research firm did not include patients that used the devices for personal health tracking.
The most widely used connected medical device category in 2013 was cardiac rhythm management (CRM) devices. According to Berg's estimates, CRM devices accounted for two-thirds of all connected monitoring devices. After CRM devices, sleep therapy and telehealth were the next largest device groups.
Berg also tracked devices for monitoring ECG, glucose level, medication adherence, blood pressure, air flow, home sleep tests, blood oxygen, and coagulation. The firm expects that CRM will continue to be the most widely used connected device in 2018, but the other devices listed above will increasingly feature some kind of connectivity.
Although currently over 70 percent of connected medical devices rely on landline telephone connectivity and local area network (LAN) connectivity to send health data to caregivers, the method of connecting these devices over cellular networks is gaining traction, Berg said. The research firm estimates that by 2018, 74 percent of connections will be over cellular networks.
“It is currently more common that caregivers provide a dedicated tablet or smartphone to a patient for remote monitoring than that a patient uses her own device. The main limitation is in the lack of interoperability between medical monitoring devices, smartphones and tablets,” Berg Insight Senior Analyst Lars Kurkinen said in a statement.
Berg said that currently less than 1 percent of medical device connections are made by patients using their own smartphones as health monitoring hubs.