The global market for telehealth technology will reach nearly $1 billion by 2015 and grow to about $6.28 billion by 2020, according to a new report by InMedica, a division of IMS Research, InformationWeek reports.
In 2010, the global market for telehealth tools was worth about $163.3 million, according to the report.
The report predicts that:
- Shipments of telehealth "gateways" -- which refer to equipment required to transmit data from home monitoring devices -- will grow from 67,000 units in 2010 to 561,000 units in 2015; and
- Shipments of peripheral devices for remote patient monitoring will increase from 134,000 units in 2010 to more than 950,000 units in 2015.
The report also predicts that more peripheral telehealth devices will be wireless in the coming years.
Possible Reasons for Market Growth
According to InMedica, the global telehealth market is expected to expand because of:
- An aging population;
- A growing acceptance of telehealth services by patients and health care providers;
- An increasing disease prevalence;
- Expanded coverage of telehealth services by U.S. insurers;
- Government pressure to curb health care costs; and
- The rollout of telehealth systems in Western Europe (Terry, InformationWeek, 9/20).
Diane Wilkinson, research manager at InMedica, said that many health care systems are seeking to reduce hospital visits and length of hospital stays. She said, "This has led to a growing trend for health care to be managed outside the traditional hospital environment, and as a result, there is a growing trend for patients to be monitored in their home environment using telehealth technologies once their treatment is complete" (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 9/19).