Despite many successful pilots and deployments of remote patient monitoring technologies, the healthcare industry has yet to experience a “gold standard trial” that stakeholders can universally point to as a proof of concept demonstrating its clinical value.
So argues Victor Camlek, transformational health industry principal at research firm Frost & Sullivan, who forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 13.2 percent through 2020 for the U.S. remote patient monitoring market.
“There’s been numerous studies going back many years and they all tend to have good results but there’s never been this one stamp of total agreement regarding its value,” according to Camlek. “It doesn’t mean there haven’t been good studies. There just hasn’t been this total endorsement by stakeholders that these products are of significant value.”
Also See: Real-Time Home Monitoring Still Young, But Pockets of Progress
Camlek sees the transition to value-based care and the regulatory penalties associated with readmissions driving increased adoption of remote patient monitoring. At the same time, he laments the fact that remote monitoring “has had to rely on regulatory trends rather than the virtue of its own technology,” adding that “you can’t take chances with people’s lives and technology really has to be proven.”
Earlier this month, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released a draft technical brief concluding that while there is a large evidence base supporting the efficacy of telemedicine—including remote patient monitoring—more research is needed to make better informed policy and practice decisions regarding its overall value.
Among other factors holding back adoption of remote patient monitoring technologies are inconsistent reimbursement policies. Nonetheless, Camlek believes the convergence of biometric monitoring and sensors, along with a wider end user base of technology-comfortable patients, will create an environment where “clinical grade” remote monitoring will expand incrementally.
A critical component of telehealth services, Camlek defines remote patient monitoring as monitors, peripherals, software and gateways deployed to provide precision monitoring of known indicators associated with diseases and chronic conditions. He believes the next phase of growth in the market will derive from the need to manage seniors and other patients who have serious chronic conditions, including at-home post-acute care to reduce hospital readmissions and other near-term adverse events.
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