According to a recent report from InMedica -- a division of IMS Research -- remote patient monitoring increased 22.2 percent based on the number of patients between 2010 and 2011. The firm estimates that 241,200 patients were remotely monitoring in 2011 via telehealth systems. Meanwhile, telehealth device revenues only grew by 5 percent from 2010 to 2011 and 18 percent from 2011 to 2012. The group attributed slower than expected growth in revenue to poor economic conditions that led to funding restrictions in Europe and uncertainty about the impact of health reform and readmission penalties in particular in the US.
The research firm's 2011 report stated that unit shipments of telehealth equipment worldwide were worth $163.3 million in 2010, with the vast majority in North and South America ($122.9 million). Last year the firm predicted that by 2015 the total will be $990 million, and by 2020, $6.28 billion, with North and South America contributing 36 percent of the total.
"A common sentiment among the [US] providers recently interviewed by InMedica was that, if they are being paid fee-for-service, it will be difficult to justify telehealth," the firm wrote for its 2012 report. "The more pre-paid dollars they can receive (internally and from payers), and the more focus on quality and outcome, the more they can look at implementation. Essentially, if providers can receive payment regardless of whether a patient receives services in or out of the practice, then they have an incentive to move forward. That said, many still have not found the right mix of tools and software applications."
That said, InMedica projects that telehealth tools will be increasingly included in post-acute care strategies in 2013. Overall, the firm expects telehealth to grow 55 percent worldwide in 2013, based on device and service revenues.
More from the InMedica report in the press release.