Jupiter Research analyst Anthony Cox divides wireless remote monitoring into two discrete buckets: Fundamental heart monitoring and on-going management of chronic diseases. While Jupiter's current and near-term forecast for these two categories favors the CardioNets, LifeWatches and eCardios of the world, Cox believes that longterm the larger user base and bigger revenues will come from managing chronic conditions.
"Particularly in the area of chronic disease management, the companies involved are still at the start-up stage. Most are still venture-backed to the tune of under $10 million. That said, five years from now, remote monitoring of chronic diseases such as diabetes and COPD could be offering health insurance companies genuine cost savings, not only by notifying physicians on changes to patients readings such as glucose levels, but also by notifying the patients themselves of how they could (and should) change their behavior," Cox writes over at Connected Planet.
On the Jupiter Research corporate blog Cox makes a similar but more succinct comment: "Asthma, COPD and diabetes, could eventually represent a much larger market in terms of numbers of monitored individuals and even revenues." Dr. Eric Topol and others at the West Wireless Health Institute may agree: The WWHI's Top Ten Targets for wireless health show each of these three conditions have many more potential users than hear failure patients alone (more here).
Cox is also quick to point out that CardioNet and similar heart monitoring companies in North America will make up the "bulk" of the global remote patient monitoring market's estimated $1.9 billion in 2014 because of the companies' ability to "charge significant amounts" for such services. (Wonder if CardioNet would agree that they have the ability to charge significant amounts?)
Cox explains that the charging model for on-going chronic disease management services is different and depends on a few factors, including "the scale of the project, the extent to which there is government funding and its perceived cost benefit in the long run." Cox also predicts that the first companies to convince payers about their services' "genuine cost savings" could see rapid uptake -- mostly if their estimates prove to be true.