Patient monitoring attracts investors

February 14, 2013 in Medical Technology

Wireless patient monitoring technology is attracting broad market interest – and potential investors, according to a new report from research firm Frost Sullivan.  Venture capitalists are showing keen interest in the disruptive WPM technology and will play a major role in bringing it to market, researchers say.

The new report, Wireless Patient Monitoring Technologies—Evaluation of Funding Prospects, finds that information and communication technologies play a major role in placing WPM technologies within consumers’ reach. VCs realize the WPM market offers long-term returns; however, the lack of standards in interoperability may delay the scaling up of WPM technologies.

[See also: Patient monitoring market pegged at $4.2B by 2018.]

“Investment funding in WPM technologies have increased, mainly due to an aging population and a consequent rise in the incidence of chronic diseases,” Technical Insights Industry Analyst Saju John Mathew, notes in a news release. “There is a growing need to manage patients in remote locations, as hospital costs are escalating and the ratio of physicians to patients is skewed.”

WPM is not only a convenient tool for elderly patients to monitor their day-to-day health, but the technology also helps the government and end users reduce healthcare expenditure, Mathew explains. Therefore, the government needs to encourage reimbursement for healthcare that employs WPM, or else end users may be reluctant to adopt this technology. Similarly, the irregular and diverse safety regulations across different geographies could hinder widespread technology adoption.

Another major hurdle to the global uptake of WPM technology, researchers note,  is the digital divide between the developed and developing countries. The lack of standardization of wireless data interfacing sensors and monitoring devices needs attention as soon as possible. Standardization among the different entities in the WPM market is necessary to improve interoperability among devices, choice of system assembly, and other related services.

[See also: Mobile telehealth solution helps UK patients monitor chronic illness.]

Additionally, WPM companies need to back their technology with strong evidence-based clinical trials. It is important to document the technology’s effectiveness, as investors need documented proof before investing.

“The WPM market needs to increasingly integrate evidence-based clinical trials and routine adoption of outcome measures as part of patient assessment,” says Mathew. “The pool of strong, positive data accumulated will encourage VCs to invest in WPM technologies.”

The WPM system should have a simple user interface, be cost effective, and adhere to HIPAA laws for maintaining data security and health information confidentiality, he says. Participants are also working toward providing an integrated suite of technologies including sensors, wireless infrastructure, user-friendly workflow process, collection of data in a central repository, and data analytics to use the accrued data to attract more investments.

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Article source: http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/patient-monitoing-attracts-investors

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