Remote health management represents just 1.4 percent of the market for home health monitoring in the U.S., but it's expected to double from $1.8 billion in 2007 to $3.6 billion in 2012, representing 15 percent annual growth, according to a new report. That's below estimates from other studies, largely because many physicians aren't likely to accept remote monitoring until payers reimburse for much more than two-way video consultations to isolated, mostly rural, populations, says Cambridge, Mass.-based consulting firm Scientia Advisors.
"While remote monitoring presents great opportunities for improving healthcare and cutting costs, [remote home management] will not realize its full potential unless it is adopted by practitioners," Scientia Advisors Managing Partner Harry Glorikian says, according to Healthcare IT News. "We believe that large-scale clinical trials, sponsored by government or manufacturers, could demonstrate the value of wider-spread remote health monitoring to payers, who, in turn, would change their reimbursement practices."
Glorikan is, however, optimistic that more attention and money for the patient-centered medical home model could spur such changes. "Daily patient self-monitoring and centralized data analysis increase the effectiveness of preventive care, lessen strain created by personnel shortages, allow healthcare professionals to attend to more patients than they otherwise might, and control rising healthcare costs by helping reduce hospital readmissions," he says.
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