Telehealth barriers need to be lowered for expansion

While the demand for remote patient monitoring or telehealth has been taking huge strides forward worldwide, a number of barriers could slow it down if not addressed quickly, according to research firm Frost & Sullivan.

These barriers to customer adoption include the absence of wide-scale reimbursement and the lack of standardization and global regulatory policies governing technology usage. Unlike other reimbursable technologies that are classified by a respective common procedure terminology (CPT) code, no specific codes are assigned for telehealth or m-health solutions, the report notes.

In addition, low awareness levels among patients, plus issues surrounding security of patient data, are contributing to delays of greater adoption. To be successful in this marketplace, technology developers will need to roll out higher-quality and lower-cost solutions that are readily available worldwide.

The report cited the use of the Health Buddy system developed by Robert Bosch Healthcare, which focuses both on measuring vital signs and fostering patient self-management through questions and feedback on patient health behavior. The company currently is working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on a demonstration project expected to heighten awareness levels while reducing healthcare costs to adopters, the report notes.

To better understand customer perceptions, companies will need to conduct periodic surveys and gather feedback to constantly evolve their products. On the technological end, advancements in ultra-low-power sensing hardware architecture, computation and communication for extending overall battery life will be needed.

For more details:
- see the Frost & Sullivan summary
- read more about the Health Buddy system