Despite an annual increase of 6 per cent in the number of baby boomers entering a classifiable disease risk category, there are currently no planned investments that could lead to a significant increase in related healthcare facilities. Remote patient monitoring and disease management will be key solutions to providing healthcare in the future and developing new technologies and services.
Frost & Sullivan (healthcare.frost.com) finds that the U.S. Remote Patient Monitoring Market earned revenues of $81.1 million in 2005 and estimates this to reach $191.5 million in 2009. The U.S. Disease Management Market was valued at $1.01 billion in 2005 and expects to reach $2.2 billion in 2009.
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“Government initiatives such as the Chronic Care Improvement Program (CCIP) are driving growth in the US tele-health market as the industry has begun to anticipate that Medicare will include remote patient monitoring and disease management in its reimbursement framework,” notes Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Konstantinos Nikolopoulos. “This has resulted in the implementation of trial projects by various companies and providers over the last few years.”
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has increased its request for budget funds that are dedicated to chronic disease prevention and health promotion. This figure rose from $789,972,000 in 2003 to $853,378,000 in 2004 to $915,425,000 for 2005. Enhanced funding and the implementation of successful demonstration projects will boost industry acceptance of remote patient monitoring and disease management solutions, thus driving growth in the tele-health market.
The lack of direct reimbursement and high solution costs are the main challenges that are present in the remote patient monitoring market, in that there is very little incentive for physicians to invest in the devices. In addition, customers often show a high degree of reluctance to invest in disease management unless the ROI can be realised very early on.
“There is a need to educate both the patients and their doctors about the potential ROI of tele-health solutions,” advises Mr. Nikolopoulos. “For example, many vendors are working with employees and insurers to generate incentives for engagement in tele-health programmes offering co-payments to those who participate.”
Building products and services that enable customers to see potential savings backed up with involvement in pilot projects where the ROI is recognised and documented can help overcome such challenges. Another strategy would be for vendors to offer pricing on a rental model that will allow providers to absorb all or part of the cost into their operational budget.
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Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, has been partnering with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more than 40 years. The company's industry expertise integrates growth consulting, growth partnership services, and corporate management training to identify and develop opportunities. Frost & Sullivan serves an extensive clientele that includes Global 1000 companies, emerging companies, and the investment community by providing comprehensive industry coverage that reflects a unique global perspective and combines ongoing analysis of markets, technologies, econometrics, and demographics.