The remote patient monitoring market has yet to reach its full potential, and since its inception, more than two decades ago, the technology has been overhauled on multiple occasions. Another revamp is undergoing right now, as vendors are expanding the ecosystem of devices included in the actual monitoring. Last week, Medtronic Care Management Service announced the integration of Garmin’s activity tracker series, Vivofit, into its remote patient monitoring platform. Meanwhile, iHealth Labs is entering the market after its acquisition of eDevice in September last year. Since the acquisition, the two companies have been working on the so-called “iHealth Next” solution – a combination of iHealth’s suite of devices in conjunction with eDevice’s infrastructure for remote patient monitoring. It is expected that iHealth Next also supports non-medical devices such as activity monitors.
The use of wrist-worn activity monitors, in remote patient monitoring, is not intended to have a direct clinical impact, but merely provide a superficial indication of the patient’s state. For instance, clinicians will be able to tell if the patient is not moving in case of an emergency, or is not moving enough. Gait analysis can also be used to detect medication adherence for certain diseases, including mental health illnesses such as depression.
On a different note, it is not entirely guaranteed that patients, who are monitored remotely, will adhere to wearing a device continuously at all times. However, overall this is a positive direction for the remote patient monitoring market, and vendors’ attempt to provide more meaningful data to providers.
For questions or inquiries, please contact Roeen Roashan, Roeen.Roashan@ihsmarkit.com.