Healthcare costs have risen dramatically in recent years, and one hope for controlling these costs is to provide services more efficiently. Telemedicine will play an important role in this new strategy, which will include remote monitoring of patients. Not only will this be more efficient than having patients come into a physician’s office, but it will also provide more detailed information about a patient’s health over time rather than rely on occasional measures.
This is one of the factors that has led the analysts at Juniper Research to forecast rapid growth in the health monitoring device market. Their new report, “Worldwide Digital Health: Developed and Emerging Market Opportunities 2016-2020,” predicts that worldwide shipments will grow from 26 million units to more than 70 million units in 2020. One of the driving forces is the fact that many new devices are gaining FDA clearance. This also underscores the need for these devices to provide data at a level of accuracy that matches clinical standards, if they are to be used to help make decisions about diagnosis and treatment. Growth will be slower in developing markets, but countries such as the United States will see rapid growth as the consumers embrace the convenience and lower cost of remote monitoring of health information.
Telemedicine has the potential to create significant changes in how we interact with healthcare resources, resulting in earlier diagnosis, lower cost treatments, and better outcomes. It will help make healthcare become predictive and proactive, rather than reactive.