Physicians have been challenged to reinvent their practices in order to accommodate their patients during the Covid-19 pandemic. The growing market of remote patient monitoring (RPM) has become a sought-after solution as indicated by recent increased demand and supply shortages. As such, GlobalData expects the RPM market to double over the next five years.
As a result of fear and threat of contracting Covid-19, people are avoiding emergency rooms and doctors’ offices for non-Covid-19 health concerns. This is one of the main drivers that is accelerating the growth of the remote patient monitoring market. As such, doctors are not as busy as they were previously and are now partnering with RPM companies to sustain their practices and maintain high-calibre medical consulting.
RPM devices provide patients with the ability to better manage their chronic conditions and understand contributing factors to their specific pathologies. In markets that provide universal healthcare, healthcare providers are positioned to take advantage of the continuous data stream from their patients in order to make more informed decisions regarding ordering tests and procedures. In markets that mainly use private healthcare, patients can use RPM to understand aspects of their health and seek out specific care, which, in return, will reduce medical fees.
Businesses are using RPM devices to assess worker health and better gauge their safety to return to work. For example, Starbucks has implemented a Covid-19 checklist for workers to complete and is requiring staff to log their temperature, using handheld clinical electronic thermometers before starting each shift. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a new policy expanding healthcare providers’ ability to use non-invasive, FDA-approved RPM devices that measure patients’ body temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate and blood pressure. Most Covid-19 patients are asymptomatic, so companies are expected to invest in RPM devices to adjust their ready-to-work protocols during the pandemic.
Covid-19 has significantly increased the groundwork for effective RPM usage by physicians and patients. The increased awareness of RPM products due to companies attempting to restart normal business operations is expected to extend to at-home usage by individuals. This acute acceleration of market growth will be sustained by market expansion benefiting payers and providers through economies of scale, increasing ease of use of home-based RPM devices, increasing need for improved healthcare in rural areas, the increasing ageing population and increased incidences of chronic diseases outside of the US and Europe. Future challenges to the growth of the RPM market include educating users and patient non-adherence to medical device instructions.