Healthcare market research company, Kalorama Information has predicted that the market for remote patient monitoring is likely to grow by 25.4% annually over the next five years to reach $22.2 billion by 2015. The market stood at $7.1 billion in 2010.
The research took into account the equipment and wireless applications that are used for remote patient monitoring, for data processing and for the transfer of data relating to patient monitoring into an EMR.
The study has also focussed on an emerging concept known as the eICU or tele-ICU . The US is likely to face a dearth of cardiologists, nurses and intensivists over the next 5-10 years. Thus the eICU system plays a crucial role in intensive care. According to Kalorama Information, the Swedish Medical Centre based in Seattle, USA is one of the first hospitals to use the eICU system. The hospital used the Visicu eICU system from Phillips Healthcare. This system allows nurses and intensivists to make rounds of the patients virtually from the eICU command centre, by using a network of computers, cameras and monitors. Communication is two ways and is linked through T1 lines.
The Sentara Healthcare based in Virginia has also used the eICU system and has established that mortality rates of its ICU was decreased by 25% and the patients stay period in the ICU was also reduced by 17%. This in turn has resulted in enhancing the capacity of the ICU leading to a saving of $3 million. It also reported that the medical costs of each patient dropped by $2,150. Since the e-ICU system enables testing the patients’ vital signs remotely, it reduces stress on cardiologists and nurses. Remote patient monitoring systems provided by other companies such as GE and Abbott were also studied in the report.