Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Telecare monitoring to surge at 40% CAGR, says Berg

Steve Rogerson
May 3, 2016
Nearly 3.4 million people will be monitored using mobile telecare systems in Europe and North America by 2021, compared with 450,000 at the end of 2015, according to a report from M2M analyst firm Berg Insight. This represents a CAGR of 40 per cent.
There are several types of monitoring systems that can help elderly and people with cognitive disabilities to live independently in their homes for as long as possible. These assistance systems are usually called telecare systems, telecare alarms or social alarms in Europe and personal emergency response systems (PERS) or medical alert systems in North America.
Berg estimates that there were close to 5.0 million telecare alarms in the EU28+2 and about 2.2 million PERS systems in North America at the end of 2015. The penetration among people 65 years and older is typically three to five per cent in many countries in Western Europe and North America.
“Many insurance and social care programmes now aim to reduce healthcare costs by providing care at home by using technologies like telecare and telehealth systems,” said André Malm, senior analyst at Berg Insight. “Telecare service providers and carers are showing increasing interest in mobile telecare that is better suited for some users than traditional systems that only work indoors.”
Mobile telecare systems are portable and incorporate cellular connectivity as well as GPS to support the needs of elderly people with active lifestyles. Some mobile telecare systems are also designed to assist those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia that are prone to wandering, as well as people with autism and epilepsy or other medical conditions such as certain forms of cardiac arrhythmia and diabetes.
Several companies are now offering telecare systems in the form of wristwatches or wearables. Many different form factors are likely to co-exist since the needs of the users can vary considerably depending on their age, medical condition or cognitive ability. Moreover, the product design is also becoming more important for devices aimed at the growing number of active seniors.
“The look and feel of mobile telecare devices can be very important in some segments since many users do not want to feel embarrassed by wearing a device that can be perceived as age-defining,” said Malm.