Wireless devices that monitor patients' conditions and report the data to healthcare providers will show a 77 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) that will create global revenues of $950 million by 2014, according to a recent report from ABI Research.
"Hospitals and other healthcare providers are being economically squeezed," ABI Research vice president Stan Schatt said in a statement. "The demands on the medical system are exacerbated by the aging of populations in most developed nations. Doctors and hospitals are looking for ways to save money, and wireless patient monitoring has a huge potential to do that, for both in- and out-patients. It's a lot more economical to monitor patients remotely at home than to have them come in personally for checkups that consume time and resources."
Schatt describes the costs of adding wireless technology to medical equipment as a "significant hurdle" for the industry. Interestingly, ABI's press release notes that "while wireless healthcare is a global market, the cost of the equipment means that much of the activity in this segment so far is in the United States."
"In the future we will see entire cellular networks designed as managed services for handling these machine-to-machine communications," Schatt stated. "The whole process will be outsourced, and software will monitor the incoming measurements. Medical staff will be alerted when the data indicates their intervention is needed."