Remote patient monitoring market to hit $21B by 2016

The market for remote patient monitoring systems is expected to leap to $20.9 billion over the next four years,  according to a report by InformationWeek.

The rising number of elderly patients has the U.S. health care system looking for ways to manage  costs and avoid hospital overcrowding. The market for remote monitoring systems grew from $3.9 billion in 2007 to $8.9 billion in 2011.

According to the article, the systems can measure a patient’s glucose and blood pressure levels and transmit them to a health care provider. The systems also can provide real-time audio and video between patient and clinician. New technologies using algorithms will measure a patient’s levels and interpret them in terms of the patient’s condition. This would give a clinician more time to administer more urgent treatments elsewhere, while still providing accurate readings, and for a lower cost.

Skeptics raise issues of maintaining privacy over wireless networks, and such issues will likely determine the conversation on remote patient monitoring systems as new advancements are pursued.

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