Market for connected health to hit $117B by 2020

The next four years will bring a seismic shift in connected healthcare technology, with an increased emphasis on chronic condition management, personal fitness and wellness and remote patient monitoring, according to a new report.

What's more, the market is projected to hit $117 billion by 2020 and 86 percent of clinicians believe mobile apps will be central to patient health in that time frame, according to the newly released "State of the App Economy," report from ACT | The App Association.

"Over the next few years, there will be a transition to much more focused products in this space," ACT Executive Director Morgan Reed tells FierceMobileHealthcare in an interview.

The report contends connected technology will "dramatically reshape the healthcare landscape," and notes that emerging regulatory actions aimed at managing healthcare costs are a prime innovation driver.

"Healthcare providers must now shift from fee-for-service to value-based payments, and the resulting incentives favor outcomes more than procedures," the report states.

The trend spikes the value of connected health data derived from remote patient management (RPM), apps, wearable sensors and chronic condition management activity.

"For chronic care management, devices that interact with an electronic healthcare record will be everything," Reed says. "Dealing with chronic conditions is all about longitudinal data, not just data from the 15 minutes the doctor sees the patient in the exam room."

A good chunk of longitudinal data is being culled via remote patient monitoring (RPM), which ACT predicts will be a $46 billion market by 2017. As FierceMobileHealthcare has reported, the number of patients using RPM devices doubled in 2015 to 4.9 million due to "rising market acceptance," according to Berg Insights. A Spyglass Consulting Group report states more than half of hospitals and health systems are using RPM systems to achieve operational efficiencies, improve risk management and boost care quality.

Reed notes that as providers now have electronic health record systems in place, the connected technology focus will be on making the systems work better for both patients and providers, and creating new ways to connect patients with care providers in a useful approach that expands the value of EHR.

"For care providers who have moved away from fee-for-service payment models, mission specific wearable products--such as devices and apps to help manage diabetes or wearables that help patients complete physical therapy for a knee replacement--will be critical," Reed says.

For more information:
- read the ACT | The App Association report