Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Patient monitoring wearables to see surge says ABI

Steve Rogerson
February 14, 2017
The patient monitoring wearable market, which includes remote and on-site devices, will grow from eight million shipments in 2016 to 33 million in 2021, according to ABI Research.
It says that a surge in healthcare patient monitoring wearables will soon help reduce readmission risks and better prevent the occurrence of serious medical traumas, alleviating growing performance pressures on healthcare services. Device types are diverse and include staples such as blood pressure monitors, continuous glucose monitors and pulse oximeters, as well as newer devices such as Fatigue Science's fatigue monitoring wearable.
"While previously professional-grade patient monitoring largely limited itself to a doctor's rounds, new wearables allow medical professionals to remotely and continuously monitor patients in the hospital and beyond," said Stephanie Lawrence, research analyst at ABI Research. "The devices send real-time alerts regarding any condition deteriorations or fluctuations, in effect reducing response times to potentially life-threatening changes and saving the healthcare system resources in the long term."
On-site professional healthcare monitoring wearables, such as those by Philips Healthcare, allow medical professionals to work with a larger base of patients, as the devices continuously update doctors throughout the day on patients' vitals and overall conditions without the need for physical check-ins. The wearables also, in effect, help ensure that doctors do not overlook any slight changes in condition before granting patients release.
Beyond the hospital, remote patient monitoring wearables, such as blood pressure monitors and telemedicine products by A&D Medical, then provide healthcare professionals with continued access to their patients' health, which would have otherwise been inaccessible once they left the confines of the hospital. As such, doctors can now, as with on-site treatment, monitor their patients' conditions and better diagnose any treatment adjustments that may be necessary on the path to recovery.
A&D Medical, Medtronic, Nonin Medical and Philips Healthcare lead the market, with start-ups such as Fatigue Science, Health Care Originals and Qardio beginning to challenge the incumbents and diversify the competitive landscape in offering products to treat specific medical conditions.
"Remote patient monitoring devices will see strong growth of nearly 35 per cent by 2021, and will take up a 60 per cent share of the patient monitoring market as healthcare professionals embrace the benefits that come with the ability to remotely and continuously monitor patients' vitals," said Lawrence.
According to Berg Insight, the number of remotely monitored patients grew by 44 per cent to 7.1 million in 2016 as the market entered a growth phase fuelled by rising market acceptance in several key verticals. This number includes all patients enrolled in mhealth care programmes in which connected medical devices are used as a part of the care regimen. Connected medical devices used for various forms of personal health tracking are not included in this figure. Berg estimates that the number of remotely monitored patients will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 47.9 per cent to reach 50.2 million by 2021.