We’ve long had the capabilities – through smartphones and other devices – to monitor health at home. For one reason or another, however, that hasn’t been taken full advantage of, until now.
A new survey predicts 78 million consumers will utilize home health technologies by 2020. In 2014, only 14.3 million people worldwide use home health tech, so why is that number expected to skyrocket? The perfect storm of reasons, it seems, according to the report. The capabilities of devices continue to improve as the learning curve shortens. The timing is also right, especially here in the United States where our baby boomer generation is coming of retirement age. Finally, the report notes that these applications may save the health care industry money – and as we all know, that’s when things really start to take hold.
“Key factors driving interest in home healthcare technologies include rising healthcare costs, aging populations, and a rise in the number of people living with chronic diseases,” explains principal analyst Charul Vyas. Experts believe these “driving interests” will manifest in a variety of applications designed to address eldercare, health and wellness, deliver remote consultations and medical monitoring, diagnosis and treatment.
The line of thinking certainly stands up to reason. The more emergency visits that can be avoided by preventative monitoring by the patients at home, the more money saved to the system. Further, patients with chronic conditions that require frequent visits to a primary care doctor could save both time and money by completing those visits remotely.
A meaningful adoption of these technologies could have a significant impact on the effectiveness of our health care system, and deliver improved outcomes for patients. But, warns Vyas, it’s not a done deal. “Significant challenges remain for the industry to solve, including regulatory issues, data security and privacy, and technology interoperability and integration issues,” he said.
To learn more about the study, please click here. In the meantime, join the conversation by following CNSI on Twitter and let us know how you think patient care will be affected by a growth in at-home technology.