Thursday, June 21, 2012

Aerotel presented at the M2M conference in Israel

Ofer Atzmon, VP Business Development and Marketing at Aerotel Medical Systems gave a presentation at the M2M (Machine to Machine) Communication Conference, which took place on June 7th, 2012 in Herzliya, Israel.

Atzmon lecture at the M2M congress 2012
In the presentation, which was entitled "Are M2M Health Applications Going to Replace our Doctors?" Atzmon stressed the fact that wireless technologies are a key to the successful implementation of M2M health systems.

M2M health systems can be useful for early detection of acute conditions and for prevention of deterioration. So for example, they can used for vital sign monitoring of blood glucose or heart ECG for homebound patients. M2M systems can also monitor physiological parameters and environmental conditions, such as humidity, temperature.

Atzmon said there is a consistent growth in home telehealth and M2M health revenues are expected to triple by 2015.

According to Atzmon, despite the fact that the majority of M2M connected healthcare devices will be consumer-oriented applications, revenues will be driven mainly from the non-consumer segment, due to the significantly higher average cost of such devices.

He added that consumers want to be able to monitor and manage their own health at home. According to IMS Research, medical devices bought by consumers to self-monitor their health will account for more than 80% of all wireless medical devices in 2016.

Atzmon concluded, that despite the fact that M2M technologies can automate many tasks, overcome distances and save time and money, professional doctors still need to review and analyze the data and take informed decision.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Frost & Sullivan sees further growth in mHealth industry

With the expansion of wireless technology, more and more people are using it to manage their health.  Each year, tens of thousands of people purchase health-related mobile applications, and that number is only expected to continue growing, according to recent research by Frost & Sullivan on the mHealth industry.

"Today, we are seeing the tip of the iceberg in the U.S. mHealth market's potential," said Zachary Bujnoch, senior industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "MHealth will continue on a steep growth curve as increasingly sophisticated mobile technologies and relationship-management tools disrupt the market."

Source: Frost & Sullivan
Wireless technology is an especially good fit for health-related issues, according to the research. First of all, wireless networks are increasingly ubiquitous as are wireless devices. Mobile applications are suited to everything from tracking fitness to reminding a patient about daily medication to managing chronic diseases.  There are also mobile programs that help people stop smoking, send out regional allergy alerts, and measure heart rate.

On a managed-care level, wireless programs can also perform diagnostic monitoring tasks. Wireless devices are also an important part of the growing telehealth industry, allowing patients to remain at home while being monitored under professional medical supervision.

But while managed-care mHealth applications are growing, it is the consumer-type applications, including the smoking-cessation and allergy alert programs, that have the largest potential to expand.

"Consumer mHealth applications are going to outpace managed-care applications in terms of quantity of installations," said Ofer Atzmon, Vice President for Business Development and Marketing at Aerotel Medical Systems. "However, the revenue from managed care applications will be much bigger due to their higher costs."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

iData Research: Telemonitoring usage up 16% in 2011

The increasing popularity of wireless equipment to monitor patients' vital signs is expected to drive much of the growth in the expanding sector of medical monitoring, according to recent research.

Monitoring in general has become more common throughout emergency departments and the regular wards of hospitals, where, until recently, most patients' vital signs were not monitored continuously, according to a recent study published by iData Research.

In 2011, more than half of all hospitalized patients were monitored.  In addition to the recent growth in monitoring within hospitals, the practice has also increased in other settings, such as home health care. The use of monitors is expected to continue expanding in all health care settings and segments.

With the increased use of monitors, the use of wireless monitors has grown sharply, as such technology offers many medical benefits. One of the most often cited benefits is allowing patients recovering from surgery to stand, walk and move around, which has been shown to shorten the recovery period. By 2018, the number of wireless monitoring devices in use will have more than doubled compared to the number of such devices in use in 2008.

With many wireless monitoring devices on the market, one of the main factors influencing a hospital's choice of equipment is whether the monitor uses regular Wi-Fi or is run on WMTF, the dedicated medical bandwidth. When choosing which to use, hospitals and other institutions usually weigh the convenience of Wi-Fi, which already exists in many settings, with the security of WMTF.

In addition to the growth in the use of wireless devices, the telehealth market is also growing rapidly, meaning more patients are being monitored remotely, from their homes or other places.   The aging U.S. population is the main reason for such growth, as more patients manage chronic diseases from home. Telemonitoring grew 16% in 2011, with most of those participating patients having cardiac implantable electronic devices.

According to iData Research's report, monitoring continued to grow across many medical fields, including those methods used to track patients with epilepsy, heart problems, and traumatic brain injury.
The use of fetal monitoring for pregnant women had actually declined in the last few years, but is back on a projected path of steady growth, according to the research. Fetal and neonatal monitoring had declined due to the economic recession, but is growing again as expectant mothers are becoming more aware of its benefits, and as new technology has recently allowed for less invasive monitoring methods.