Demand for at-home medical devices will skyrocket as soon as the telehealth field takes-off. According to a recent study conducted by InMedica, demand for home-use digital blood-glucose meters, blood pressure monitors, weight scales, pulse oximeters and peak flow meters will increase during the next three years.
Demand for at-home medical devices will skyrocket as soon as the telehealth field takes-off. According to a recent study conducted by InMedica, the medical research division of IMS Research, demand for home-use digital blood-glucose meters, blood pressure monitors, weight scales, pulse oximeters and peak flow meters will increase during the next three years.
In 2009, nearly 50,000 blood-pressure monitors were used in telehealth applications. InMedica predicts that shipments will increase to more than half a million in 2013. And, alhough the number of blood-glucose monitors used in telehealth applications was quite low in 2009, shipments are forecast to grow to around 300,000 in 2013.
“As the use of telehealth grows, more people will have monitoring devices in their homes,” claims market research analyst Neha Khandelwal. “Today, telehealth is mainly used for the management of chronic diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, hypertension and diabetes. Despite being around for a number of years, home telehealth has not yet evolved into a mainstream application. On the whole, the United States has shown the most development, with a few instances of mainstream services.
“Some European countries, such as Denmark, England, Germany and Holland, have also witnessed implementation of telehealth projects of varying scope and scale,´ says Khandelwal. “A second market for telehealth that is also gaining traction includes people who are more generally concerned or worried about their state of health, who may not necessarily be diagnosed with a condition.”
Khandelwal believes that consumer telehealth will be an extension of the current home-use medical device market, with manufacturers offering additional Internet-based services to people who purchase their monitors. “These services are expected to include simple analysis of readings and some level of generalized feedback that may include dietary and nutritional advice,” he points out. “Consumer-led telehealth services could prove to be the disruptive influence required for professional care authorities to drive telehealth forward.”