Electronic Health Records

Integration & Interoperability News

Interoperable Home Health Technology Poised for Explosive Growth

By Frank Irving

- Projections call for the home health technology market to quadruple in size by the end of the decade. Growth factors will fuse as consumers increasingly use interoperable devices, services and apps for medical, health or wellness purposes outside of clinical settings.

Growth in home health technologies

Research firm Tractica estimates the global market for home health technologies to ramp up from $3.4 billion in 2014 to more than $13.7 billion by 2020. In North America, home health technology revenues will rise from about $1.8 billion in 2014 to slightly less than $8 billion in 2020.

In its recently published “Home Health Technologies” market report, Tactica predicts that consumer adoption will be driven by “the need to curb healthcare costs yet provide better outcomes, adjust to demographic changes, manage population health issues, and address the demands of a more connected, health centric and in-control population.”

Tactica expects development of home health technologies in four main use cases:

  1. chronic care and post-acute care;
  2. routine, non-emergency, ongoing care and treatment;
  3. elder care; and
  4. health maintenance and wellness.

The tools used to address these use cases will vary by patient need and condition, according to Tactica, but will include remote medical monitoring, management, treatment and diagnosis devices and services; as well as remote consultations, smartphone and wearable applications, emergency response solutions, and devices designed to help users maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“Many of the application segments within the broader home health technologies market are complementary, and are being combined to enable strong return on investment, in addition to allowing the patient to be a more active participant in their healthcare,” according to Charul Vyas, Tactica’s principal analyst for the report.

At the same time, healthcare organizations have come to realize that consumers want more input and decision-making power regarding their own healthcare, the report states, while the adoption of smartphones and acceptance of wearable devices has made it easier to track health and medical information. “Proliferation of wireless connectivity — particularly Wi-Fi, cellular and Bluetooth — allows new services, such as remote consultations and broader home health monitoring services, to be delivered in a seamless way,” the report adds.

Potential barriers to growth will include data security and privacy issues, as well as legislative and regulatory variations.

“Attention will also need to be focused on interoperability and integration issues with existing healthcare infrastructure and systems ... particularly as the amount and nature of patient health data collected grows,” the report states. Nonetheless, the potential exists to create a more rounded picture of patients’ health through the use of these technologies.

While the overall trajectory will be upward, Tactica says some home health offerings — especially in the mobile app area — will vary in usefulness and accuracy. Usability will improve as smartphones and wearables incorporate more sensor technology.

Tactica’s market forecast includes 20 segments and product categories within the areas of medical monitoring and management, remote consultations, elder care, and health and wellness. It takes into account an estimated 60 percent of global healthcare spending on individuals with chronic conditions, and a doubling of the world’s population over age 60 by the year 2020.

An executive summary of the report is available for upload here.