The financial challenges facing healthcare systems have lead to the increased application of home-based tele-health solutions, market-analysis firm Datamonitor reports.
“The desire to overcome the challenges facing all healthcare systems, including pressures to increase quality of care while decreasing overall healthcare costs, has lead to a growing interest in the application of tele-health solutions,” argues Datamonitor, an online data provider and market analyst in a new report ‘Telehealth’s Increasing Role in Healthcare’.
The report argues that in particular the market for homecare tele-health (remote patient monitoring) will grow very fast in the coming years, five times faster than the clinical tele-health market, which includes health services delivered in a hospital setting, such as remote robotic surgery. Increasing interest in solutions for remote patient monitoring is due to the combination of a growing and ageing population and shortage of healthcare workers, it says.
Tele-health is the delivery of health-related services and information via telecommunications technologies, thus delivering treatment to a patient who is not in the same location as the doctor. Tele-health home monitoring devices can allow patients to transmit data, such as their blood-sugar levels, to their doctor without a physical visit to a hospital.
An international business alliance bringing together ICT (software, hardware and networks) companies, medical and fitness device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, the Continua Health Alliance, was founded in June 2006.
It focuses on monitoring patients suffering from long-term, chronic diseases, preventive monitoring of senior citizens’ health and monitoring and coaching fitness training. The aim is to “foster independence through establishing a system of interoperable personal tele-health solutions that empower people and organizations to better manage health and wellness”.
In order to foster the development of eHealth systems, the alliance highlights the need for open standards and interoperability; certification, a friendly regulatory environment, and; general awareness-raising with the public and policymakers.