Remote Patient Monitoring Enhancing Patient Reach and Care

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) or telehealth is a digital technology that enables patient monitoring in the absence of physicians in care settings such as home and remote areas. This technology collects medical and other forms of health data from patients in one location and electronically transmits that information to the healthcare providers at a different location for assessment and treatment recommendations. This technology can collect a wide range of health data from the point of care, such as blood pressure, blood sugar, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, and electrocardiograms.

Advantages of RPM include real-time data transfer from patients to health professionals that allows doctors to reach out to potential patients and reduces the number of unnecessary hospital visits, remote monitoring helps improve work efficiency, reduces loads on clinics, improves adherence to scheduled follow-ups, and enables early detection of more severe problems. Disadvantages are it is not accessible to everyone as it requires good broadband connectivity, the need for additional custom healthcare software, and more variations of accuracy with error margins up to 25%.

Remote patient monitoring is rapidly growing in-home care settings. The increasing benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) coupled with the rising comfort utilizing smartphones and tablets among the elderly patients are well suited to the evolving foundation of a user-friendly technical solution that should help to address the core challenges to the U.S. Healthcare system that require solutions that will reduce the cost of healthcare without sacrificing quality. The rising demand for these services will increase the use of monitoring devices to record health and medical data of patients from their homes. For instance, cardiac monitors such as Mobile ECG are used to monitor cardiac conditions and arrhythmic functions of the heart, likewise, several disorders can be monitored using remote patient monitoring devices.

The integration of monitoring technologies in smartphones and wireless devices is a key trend in patient care, resulting in the introduction of remote patient monitoring systems, mobile cardiac telemetry devices, mobile personal digital assistant (PDA) systems, ambulatory wireless EEG recorders, and ambulatory event monitors. Advanced devices such as mobile PDA systems enable the real-time transmission of data. For example, In February 2018 Memory MD (Brain Scientific) received FDA approval for NeuroEEG, a wireless amplifier that transmits EEG signals to computers and cloud-based databases via Bluetooth.

In renal function monitoring, remote patient monitoring is used to monitor real-time data and measures patients ’ vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, and more recently therapy monitoring data on Bluetooth-enabled devices and send data directly to the dialysis unit for monitoring. Many companies such as Fresenius Medical Care and DaVita are working on the development of home hemodialysis monitoring devices. As emerging applications, companies are investing in developing home dialysis monitors. For example, in February 2020 CloudCath received $12 million in funding for developing a real-time system for monitoring patients undergoing dialysis at home and calling in potential complications.

Remote and wireless patient monitoring devices and technologies can be used for long-term monitoring, such as wireless EEG recorders used to detect the epileptiform activity of the patient at home, over a long period. These recorders are compact and can store large amounts of data in inbuilt memory cards; they do not restrict the patient’s freedom of movement.

Owing to their features and convenience, the demand for wireless monitoring devices is expected to increase across the globe. This, along with the increasing prevalence of heart, neuro, and breathing diseases, has led manufacturers to develop remote cardiovascular, neurological, and respiratory monitoring devices. The coming trend of RPM technology is miniaturization, manufacturers making their devices smaller and less invasive, and partnering with new companies for the enhancement of market share and technology growth.

According to IQ4I Analysis, the remote patient monitoring devices’ U.S. market is estimated to be $506.6 million in 2019 and is expected to grow at a strong CAGR of 9.5% from 2019 to 2026 to reach $955.8 million by 2026.

The U.S. remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices are classified into hemodynamic monitoring devices, neuromonitoring devices, cardiac monitoring devices, multi-parameter monitoring devices, and others. Among these, another market is expected to be the fastest-growing segment with a CAGR of 22.0% from 2019 to 2026.

Some of the key players in Remote patient monitoring are Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics Co., Ltd. (China), Abbott Laboratories (U.S.), Medtronic PLC (Ireland), Nihon Kohden Corporation(Japan), Honeywell International Inc. (U.S.), Boston Scientific (U.S.), Dragerwerk AG and Co. KgAA (Germany), Biotronik SE & Co. KG (Germany), Koninklijke Philips N.V.(Netherlands), Biotelemetry Inc. (U.S.), iRhythm (U.S.), Bittium Corporation (Finland), ScottCare Cardiovascular Solutions (U.S.), Medicomp Inc. (U.S.) and InfoBionic Inc. (U.S.).

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