Patient Monitoring Industry Overview
The patient monitoring device industry regroups all sorts of medical devices used once a medical patient is admitted into healthcare facilities to monitor his or her state of health. Companies in the patient monitoring device industry produce equipment for measuring vital health parameters as either a snapshot or by tracking them over an extended time period. Enterprises in this industry also provide applications, other software and clinical information systems for patient monitoring.
Patient monitors are also referred to as medical monitors or physiological monitors. These devices typically consist of sensors, processing components, display devices and communication links. Common applications of medical monitors include measurement of heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and body temperature.
Medical monitors are used to enable physicians to make effective and appropriate clinical decisions, especially in operating rooms and critical care units where they also help assess therapeutic responses.
They can also be used by healthcare personnel at out-patient centers, pathological labs, diagnostic centers and nursing homes. Some portable medical monitors can also be directly handled by patients at home for measuring blood pressure or blood glucose levels.
Increases in the size of the diseased population, demand for at-home and remote monitors and for point-of-care diagnosing are key drivers for the patient monitor equipment industry. The global market for these devices is forecast to reach $25 billion in a few years' time.
The major players in the patient monitors market include Abbott Laboratories, Medtronic Plc, GE Healthcare, Nihon Kohden, Omron Healthcare and Philips Healthcare.
Key Patient Monitoring Market Segments
The main types of medical monitors by application include:
Cardiac monitoring devices – These are monitors able to examine heart functions. Electrocardiogram (ECG) devices are the largest sub-segment within cardiac monitors. Other types include cardiac event recorders for recording the heart’s electrical activity, implantable loop recorders for recording heartbeat abnormalities and cardiac output devices for tracking the volume of blood volume pumped by the heart.
Multi-parameter monitoring devices – These devices detect multiple physiological statistics simultaneously. Multi-parameter monitors (MPM) can either continuously or intermittently measure a patient’s blood pressure, pulse, body temperature, respiration rate and other data concurrently. These devices are commonly used in critical care and emergency units.
Neuromonitoring devices – These instruments measure the functional integrity of neural structures including the nerves, spinal cord and parts of the brain. The most widely used neuromonitor is the electroencephalograph (EEG) for recording the electrical activity of the brain. Transcranial dopplers for measuring blood flow velocity in the brain’s blood vessels and cerebral oximeters for monitoring cerebral oxygenation levels are also widely used neuromonitors in healthcare settings.
Respiratory monitoring devices – These devices primarily assess the patient's respiratory status. Capnographs are the most widely-used respiratory monitors. They can assess concentrations of CO2 in exhaled air. Other common respiratory monitors are anesthesia monitors, sleep apnea monitors and pulse oximeters.
Regional Patient Monitoring Market Shares
North America, Europe and Asia are the largest regions of the global patient monitoring devices market.
North America is the largest market for patient monitors. The market in this region is expected to rise steadily at a compound annual growth rate of more than 5% in near future. The rise in the size of the region’s geriatric population and in life style diseases together with huge investments by the patient monitoring industry are the key drivers of the North American market for patient monitors.