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[August 30, 2007]

DATAMONITOR: Homecare telehealth expected to grow despite current barriers to adoption

(M2 PressWIRE Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)
RDATE:30082007

London -- 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 telehealth solutions. In particular, homecare
telehealth, also known as remote patient monitoring (RPM), is gaining
traction and has already surpassed the clinical telehealth market. A
new report by independent market analyst Datamonitor predicts the
homecare telehealth market will grow at a five-year compound annual
growth rate (CAGR) of 56% compared to 9.9% in the clinical market. The
Datamonitor report, "Telehealth's Increasing Role in Healthcare,"
expects that the overall global telehealth market will exceed US$8
billion by 2012.

Telehealth is the use of a digital network to provide automated
monitoring and treatment delivery to a patient who is in a different
physical location than the medical expert providing treatment. It can
refer to simple communications like emails sent between patients and
providers to extremely complex procedures like remote robotic surgery.
Today, common forms of telehealth include video conferencing and home
monitoring devices. For example, diabetics would be able to transmit
their blood sugar levels to their provider for review, via a telephone
line from the comfort of their home. This monitoring can improve
patient outcomes and reduce the number of visits patients need to make
to the hospital. Telehealth includes all aspects of the delivery of
healthcare, including the administrative, financial and educational as
well as the clinical areas of healthcare.

The road to widespread telehealth adoption has a number of speed bumps
A growing, ageing population coupled with a shortage of healthcare
providers is one of the leading drivers of telehealth adoption.
Telehealth increases access to healthcare by allowing providers to see
more patients in less time without geographic constraints. Rising
healthcare costs have also been at the forefront of recent healthcare
agendas. Telehealth can decrease overall healthcare costs by monitoring
patients daily and preventing them from requiring emergency care and
expensive re-hospitalizations. However, significant barriers affect the
uptake of telehealth. "Despite the benefits of telehealth, the lack of
reimbursement for telehealth continues to be the most pressing
challenge to widespread adoption," says Christine Chang, healthcare
technology analyst with Datamonitor and author of the study. "With no
financial incentive for healthcare providers to implement the
technology, providers are likely to view telehealth as an increase in
workload without a subsequent increase in pay." The telehealth market
is increasing rapidly despite its current limited focus Despite the
lack of reimbursement, the market's growth is nevertheless being driven
by the sheer growth in numbers of the elderly and chronically ill
population. While the use of telehealth is currently confined to a
relatively small number of patients with a few particular conditions,
in the near- to mid-term the adoption of telehealth will expand to
greater numbers of patients and more areas of healthcare, leading to an
even larger market. In the long-term, telehealth devices will also be
directly available to general consumers, further increasing the scope
of the market. Before uptake can increase, however, telehealth needs to
move into the forefront of healthcare agendas and become an integral
part of the daily practice of medicine. Successful telehealth solutions
will be easily incorporated into clinical workflows and linked to other
healthcare technologies like electronic health records (EHRs).

Telehealth solutions must meet the needs of a diverse set of end users
Additionally, to further increase adoption rates, telehealth
solutions need to be better tailored to their end users. Telehealth
technology is still in its early stages; devices are simplistic, yet
complex at the same time and have not reached their full clinical
potential. Furthermore, the market is not one-size-fits-all. Patients
and providers are not all the same and thus, the technologies that they
prefer will be different. The mismatch between available technologies
and the day-to-day realities and preferences of end users needs to be
addressed. Accuracy, mobility and ease of use are a few of the criteria
that end users will use to judge which solutions they will purchase.

Chang concludes: "Telehealth is an emerging market with great potential
to increase the quality of care, improve the delivery of care and
decrease costs. Today's strong customer base will continue to grow as
the benefits of telehealth become more apparent. However, the work flow
processes and technology need to improve before telehealth adoption
becomes more widespread." Ends Notes for Editors: Datamonitor's
report, "Telehealth's Increasing Role in Healthcare," examines the
market, strategy and technology forces driving the adoption of
telehealth. This report also provides a forecast of spending on
telehealth solutions in North America and Europe through 2012.

Datamonitor is the world's leading provider of online data, analytic
and forecasting platforms for key vertical sectors. We help our
clients, 5,000 of the world's leading companies profit from better,
more timely decisions. Through our proprietary databases and wealth of
expertise, we provide clients with unbiased expert analysis and
in-depth forecasts for seven industry sectors: Automotive & Logistics,
Consumer Markets, Energy, Financial Services, Healthcare, Retail and
Technology. Datamonitor maintains its headquarters in London and has
regional offices in Frankfurt, New York, San Francisco and Sydney.

CONTACT: Krishna Raoin, Press Office, Datamonitor
Tel+ 44 20 7551 9336
e-mail: krao@datamonitor.com
email krao@datamonitor.com
Suzanna Eygabroat, Press Office, Datamonitor, US
Tel: +1 585 374 6326 x 17
e-mail: seygabroat@datamonitor.com
Denis Mason, Press Office, Datamonitor, Asia-Pacific
Tel: +61 2 8705 6903
e-mail: dmason@datamonitor.com
WWW: http://www.datamonitor.com

((M2 Communications Ltd disclaims all liability for information
provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties.
Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at
http://www.presswire.net on the world wide web. Inquiries to
info@m2.com)).

Copyright 2007 M2 Communications Ltd.

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