The healthcare industry is only starting out on its journey to develop and utilize the Internet of Things for population health management and patient monitoring.
Nothing is getting investors, providers, and developers more excited about the future than the healthcare Internet of Things (IoT) and its potential impact on big data analytics, predictive analytics, and personalized care.
As financial reforms start to apply pressure on providers to engage their patients and manage populations much more intensely, healthcare organizations are actively searching for the technologies they need to capture their patients’ attentions and deliver actionable insights for their individualized care.
According to a new crop of studies and reports, the explosive interest in truly connected health – and the devices, sensors, and clinical tools that support it – will rapidly drive new investment in a number of key market segments that will combine to create the healthcare-specific Internet of Things.
From predictive analytics and ingestible sensors to home monitoring equipment and smartphone apps, the IoT is set to see billions of dollars in growth as it begins to reach maturity.
Disposable IoT sensor market slated for 9.87 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR)
Healthcare organizations are seeking increasingly innovative ways to cut costs and penalties related to avoidable patient safety events, and disposable IoT sensors may create a new opportunity. One-and-done sensors for endoscopes, cardiac catheters, insulin pumps, pulse oximeters, and continuous glucose monitoring devices reduce the possibility for infection and offer a lower cost way to utilize cutting edge technologies.
In 2015, biosensors composed 60 percent of the disposable sensor market, but imaging sensors are likely to see significant growth as the technology becomes more sophisticated and demand continues to grow.
While the market is likely to be centered in the Asia-Pacific region due to the availability of skilled labor and robust development climate, governmental policies in North America and other areas of the world, which demand high quality in exchange for reimbursement, are major drivers of this segment.
Ingestible sensors will become a $678.2 million opportunity by 2022 In addition to disposable monitoring tools, ingestible sensors are capturing the interest of developers and investors. “Smart pills” that contain cameras or biosensors will aid the difficult process of chronic disease management, says ReportLinker.
Providers will be able to monitor metrics like a patient’s body temperature in real-time using these tools, and may alert clinicians when a patient is about to experience a significant adverse event.
At the moment, temperature sensors are likely to drive a significant portion of this segment’s growth, helping to expand the market from $198.2 million in 2015 to $678.2 million in 2022, representing a compound annual growth rate of 20.2 percent.
Smart home healthcare will bring value to aging populations
Remote patient monitoring is becoming a favored management strategy for healthcare organizations facing growing populations of aging patients who wish to avoid long-term care facilities or expensive home health aides.
By combining existing smart home technologies – temperature sensors, security systems, lighting, and communication – with healthcare-specific telemonitoring tools, vendors and consumers will drive a 38 percent compound annual growth rate between 2016 and 2022 in this area of the Internet of Things marketplace, says P&S Market Research.
The smart home will ideally be able to detect changes in a patient’s health status. Providers may monitor how often a patient goes up and down the stairs to understand if they are feeling well enough to move around on their own, or tap into data streams from smart scales, blood pressure monitors, or other home-based devices to keep track of a patient’s health in real-time.
Fall prevention and detection, nutrition monitoring, safety checks, and memory aids are also areas of this segment that are ripe for growth.
Internet of Things “gateway” devices to reach $12.64 billion in sales
The IoT relies on physical devices, disposable or otherwise, to connect users and produce data. From smart televisions to wearables to tablet apps that control a blood glucose monitor, these interface devices are foundational for interacting with data and managing services.
Worldwide, the market for IoT gateway devices is expected to grow at a 14.2 percent CAGR between 2016 and 2022, reaching $12.64 billion dollars by the beginning of the next decade.
Wearable devices, especially smart watches and activity trackers, are expected to drive much of this growth, says a report by MarketsandMarkets, and will hold the largest share of the market by the end of the study period.
A separate report by Research and Markets adds that smartphones will be a critical tool for healthcare diagnostics, especially in the areas of cardiovascular health, hematology, respiratory diseases, obstetrics and gynecology, dermatology, and ophthalmology. In 2015, apps and sensors that allowed smartphones to become diagnostic tools for cardiac conditions comprised 31.5 percent of the segment.
In addition to helping bring healthcare services to developing areas of the globe, smartphone diagnostics will help providers cope with the growing number of lifestyle diseases prevalent in many wealthy nations.
Global healthcare analytics market projected to hit $32.4 billion in six years
The healthcare Internet of Things isn’t just about devices. In order to make use of all the data streaming from sensors and other equipment, providers must develop big data analytics competencies – not to mention the interfaces and integration strategies to bring actionable insights to the point of care.
Stratistics Market Research Consulting predicts that the global healthcare analytics market will grow from $5.5 billion in 2014 to a whopping $32.4 billion by 2022.
While this figure includes everything from revenue cycle analytics to physician performance evaluations, the need to engage in advanced clinical analytics utilizing patient-generated health data will drive a significant part of this growth.
As providers build their foundational analytics capabilities, they will be better prepared to handle the massive influx of Internet of Things data that is heading their way as other portions of the IoT ecosystem rapidly expand.
Investment in internet-connected monitoring tools and the analytics that drive clinical decision-making are likely to continue to rise at record rates throughout the end of the decade, bringing patients and providers the health IT tools they need to engage in innovative, high-quality care.