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How is M2M affecting the remote patient monitoring industry?

In 2016 alone 7.1 million patients enrolled onto some form of digital health programme that uses connected medical equipment, devices or medical apparatus as an essential part of their care plan; there’s no wonder that remote patient monitoring has taken a huge step in terms of popularity in recent years.

This ‘claim’ is backed up by Berg Insight’s research into IoT and mHealth. They found that cases of remote patient monitoring increased by 44% throughout the year. This doesn’t include connected devices used for personal health tracking).

Berg Insight estimated that a total of 50.2 million M2M cellular connections for remotely monitored patients will be present within the next four years. Of these 50.2 million we can expect 25.2 million to be made up of patients utilising connected medical equipment at home whilst the rest is made up of those using personal devices.

The report also looks into the importance and viability of using patients’ own mobile devices for remote patient monitoring. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) schemes will be the preferred form of connectivity by select groups of patients and will be used to monitor 22.9 million patients remotely by 2021.

How much is the remote patient monitoring market worth?

All in all the total revenue made from remote patient monitoring in 2016 is estimated to have reached €7.5 billion; that’s £6.4 billion or $8.35 billion! This total includes revenues made from medical monitoring devices, mobile-health (mHealth) connectivity solutions, care delivery platforms and mHealth care programmes, all of which utilise M2M.

Berg Insight predicted that this figure will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33.8% between the end of 2016 and 2021, totalling €32.4 billion within the four year period.

Of the total revenues in 2016, connected medical devices accounted for 67.5%. That being said, care programmes and mHealth connectivity solutions are accelerating at a faster rate; mHealth will account for 51.3% of the predicted €32.4 billion in revenues made by 2021. This is impressive considering mHealth only accounted for 32.5% in 2016.

What areas of RPM is M2M becoming more popular in?

According to Berg Insight “there is a strong trend towards incorporating more connectivity in medical devices and pharmaceuticals in order to enable new services and value propositions”. This market was traditionally led by implantable Cardiac Rhythm Management (CRM). However, sleep therapy has been exponentially growing resulting in it overtaking CRM.

Sleep therapy surpassed CRM in 2016 as the number of remotely monitored sleep therapy patients grew by 70%. This is possibly due to new technologies and M2M solutions that are becoming more widely available; especially in the healthcare sector. Other market segments including glucose monitoring, air flow monitoring and connected pharmaceuticals will also expand in the next few years.

We’ve also seen huge developments in mHealth connectivity solutions. These are simply the solutions, devices and M2M SIMs that are used to collect important medical data.

This data is then transmitted from monitoring apparatus using cellular connectivity in real-time. The data collated by the mHealth connectivity solutions allows medical staff to monitor patient’s health remotely and act instantaneously.