Table of Contents
•To analyse the latest European remote patient monitoring (RPM) market and technology trends.
•To provide an overview of key stakeholders and their role in the RPM value chain.
•To identify opportunities for information and communication technology (ICT) providers.
•RPM (covering both telehealth and telecare solutions) in Europe. Health and fitness applications downloaded to a smartphone or a tablet for self-monitoring are not considered in this study.
•Primary research: Interviews with key market participants: telehealth/telecare companies, mobile network operators (MNOs), software and hardware vendors, IT service companies.
•Secondary research: Frost & Sullivan research services, online databases, and market participants’ Web sites and publications.
Remote Patient Monitoring
RPM is technology that helps to advise and treat patients outside of conventional clinical settings (e.g., in the home), enabling reductions in hospital readmissions and ensuring adherence to required treatment. RPM covers both telehealth and telecare solutions—meaning that in addition to monitoring of patient vital signs (e.g., blood pressure and oxygen levels), it also delivers tools for seniors’ assisted and independent living, such as social alarms, activity monitors, fall detectors, medicine management, and fire/flood/carbon monoxide detectors.
RPM architecture can vary; however, the most common structure consists of:
•Sensor-based devices enabled by wireless communications to measure physiological parameters.
•A gateway (e.g., home hub) that collects data from medical devices and sensors and securely transfers the data to a centralised repository.
•A centralised repository (cloud-based platform) where the patient data from gateways and diagnostic applications are stored and analysed.
•Visualisation and display software at the healthcare provider site or monitoring centre that can generate treatment recommendations and intervention alerts based on analysed data.
Key Study Findings
•Healthcare systems in Europe are strained because of an increasing senior population and more chronic disease patients. This causes tremendous cost pressures and calls for shifting of care from acute-care settings to lower-cost settings such as the patient home.
•RPM allows patients to monitor and manage their conditions outside of hospital settings, and offers older people a measure of safety and independent living.
•The RPM market in Europe is still at the initial stage of development, with the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and France taking the lead. These countries also offer the greatest potential for RPM technology deployment in the short to medium term.
•The most mainstream RPM market is telecare—sensor-based monitoring for safety and lifestyle represents the largest opportunity for technology providers. Telehealth is expected to catch up once regulatory and reimbursement challenges are overcome.
•The RPM market in Europe is fragmented and dominated by few large telehealth and telecare providers. In addition to more-established MNOs, the promising market encourages entries from other industries such as security/home automation and pharmaceuticals.
•There are numerous opportunities for ICT providers—wireless communication infrastructure, data hosting, integration, and cloud computing represent key areas for RPM deployment.
Telecare—Market Maturity and Trends
•In Europe, telecare enjoys a much higher adoption rate (around x %) than telehealth. At least first-generation solutions are used countrywide and regularly in most of Western Europe.
•Social alarms are the most mainstream telecare solutions, although uptake differs significantly by country (with the United Kingdom and Scandinavian countries in the lead, followed by Germany, Spain, and France).
•More advanced (second-generation) telecare involving the addition of sensors (such as GPS tracking or smoke/fire detectors) to basic social alarm services is gaining strong momentum.
•Third-generation telecare systems involving extensive activity monitoring and lifestyle data collection and analysis are in the initial deployment stage—most countries are running trials/pilots and look to establish viable business models.
•All types of telecare solutions are increasingly supported by mobile devices and GPS systems that enable monitoring outside of home settings, as well as video conferencing for more effective communication, visual monitoring, and patient education.
Market Maturity and Trends
•Telehealth is not as mainstream as telecare—it is not included in standard treatment countrywide but is mostly applied in small, local initiatives.
•Germany, Scandinavia, and the United Kingdom are the most advanced telehealth markets in Europe.
•Key use areas of telehealth are chronic disease management (cardiovascular and respiratory disease and diabetes), weight monitoring and monitoring after hospital discharge (e.g., therapy adherence, drug/treatment safety techniques, rehabilitation programmes).
•As the majority of telehealth patients are x or older, the market favours horizontal solutions (i.e., adjusted for both telehealth and telecare purposes).
•Vital sign monitoring systems supported by video consultation and Web-based applications are the most demanded technologies and are expected to grow rapidly across Europe.
•Monitoring (response) centres, usually in the telecare domain, are gaining prominence in telehealth.
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