The Covid-19 pandemic has forced healthcare providers to consider using alternate methods to continue to treat populations that should currently avoid visiting clinics or hospitals. Devices that allow remote patient monitoring or at-home technologies and procedures may see rapid adoption in the coming months as a result, potentially changing the post-Covid healthcare landscape.
The need for social distancing due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has drastically altered almost every facet of everyday life: malls are closed, many restaurants are only offering take-out services, and many employees are working from home. Unsurprisingly, healthcare systems around the world have likewise been significantly impacted. The continued surge in Covid-19 cases has resulted in people postponing non-essential procedures and has made patients wary about interactions with the healthcare system. In response, large and small medical device manufacturers have raced to develop devices that will allow patients to be monitored or diagnosed from the safety of their homes.
The major players in the medical device space have begun offering novel products to address the concerns surrounding Covid-19 while allowing physicians to keep up with their patients’ health without compromising on safety. In June, Royal Philips announced its new obstetrics monitoring solution for high-risk expectant mothers. This device provides clinicians with detailed, up-to-date information on the health of the mother and fetus, providing peace of mind for the mother and allowing the clinician to remotely monitor for potential complications. GlobalData originally forecasts the remote patient monitoring market to grow by 20% from 2019 to a size of $645M by 2025, but the market is likely to experience accelerated growth as manufacturers capitalise on increased demand during the pandemic.
New companies have also entered the space, offering innovative solutions across multiple markets. Tasso, a US-based start-up, recently introduced a system for patient-friendly blood sample collection that can be shipped directly to and conducted at a patient’s home. These samples would then be sent to clinical labs for tests ranging from routine diagnostic procedures to Covid-19 diagnoses, all without the need to enter a lab, clinic, or testing facility. The ongoing pandemic will likely help Tasso’s products to achieve rapid adoption in the US haematology market, which GlobalData valued at $376M in 2019, leaving the company well-positioned as a disruptor in this space.
The shift away from a centralised healthcare system to one where increasingly more is done at home will likely be permanent, even after the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. While still new, remote patient monitoring and at-home testing technologies have the potential to provide more accurate and real-time health data to clinicians, lower treatment costs, improve access to healthcare resources, and lower the risk of catching an illness from an in-person clinic visit.