Remote patient monitoring with smartphone connectivity is set to skyrocket in the next few years, according to the latest study by British research firm Juniper Research. The study projects that by 2016, more than 3 million patients will be using remote monitoring devices that transmit data via smartphone.
The big drivers of the market are the growing number of peripheral devices for monitoring patient data--from wearable biometric sensors to testing and diagnostic plug-ins--and smartphones' increasing processing power, researchers concluded.
The most popular systems now are cardiac monitoring for outpatients, especially since U.S. insurers paying for the service. In the future, however, monitoring for chronic conditions such as diabetes and COPD may become just as critical a market factor, researchers found.
Interestingly, the Juniper findings contradict an ABI Research report from late last fall. ABI predicted that remote monitoring systems would quickly move away from using smartphones to transmit data, turning instead to embedded cellular connectivity.
The mHealth market is still in "very early days yet," Anthony Cox, associate analyst for Juniper, said in a video interview. However, the growing popularity of remote monitoring, particularly as a cost-saving maneuver for healthcare, is clear.
The report said that clarification from FDA on its mobile app regulations, as well as larger clinical trials of mHealth devices,will further prime the market for growth.
That matches up to earlier Juniper research, released last November, projecting the number of health apps would jump to 124 million by 2016.