Med device connectivity market expected to reach $33.5 billion by 2019

The global medical device connectivity (MDC) market is expected to be worth $33.5 billion by 2019, according to a new market report from Transparency Market Research.

In 2012, North America accounted for 62 percent of the $3.5 billion MDC market--wired hardware plus wireless hardware and software--due largely to increasing adoption of electronic medical records, according to an announcement touting the report. Such equipment is used to remotely control administration data such as dose, rate and timing, as well as physiological and other data.

Wired hardware was the largest segment, with 40 percent of market share, though wireless technology is growing as healthcare providers add Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and wireless medical telemetry services (WMTS).

Government regulations requiring EHRs are expected to drive the market. Other factors will play a role, though, including increased need for workflow automation, focus on patient safety, increased productivity and minimizing the need for re-admissions, according to the report.

Factors inhibiting growth of the market include connectivity and operational issues, cost barriers for small and mid-sized healthcare units and security concerns, the report's authors say.

Hospitals continue to be the largest customer of MDC services, but home health is growing, due to the need for patient monitoring for high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes and other respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

Meanwhile, researchers at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta are looking to cut the cost of monitoring equipment by developing a series of complex mathematical algorithms that help even a cell phone camera sort mountains of visual data into useful, real-time information. The technology to measure heart and breathing rates might provide a low-cost way to prevent sudden infant death syndrome among newborns at home or be effective for detecting stroke or heart attacks in elderly patients at home or in nursing homes.

Indianapolis-based St. Vincent Health, a Beacon Community, demonstrated success in reducing the 30-day readmission rate for patients discharged with congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It's partnering with its parent organization, Ascension Health Alliance, to form a joint venture offering a remote care management program with the goal of scaling the program on a national level.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement