By Katie Wike, contributing writer
By 2020, nearly 80 million people will be using home health technology, according to a recent report.
In 2014, 14.3 million people worldwide used home healthcare technology. Now, a report from market intelligence firm Tractica indicates that number could reach 78.5 million by the year 2020. “The ability to remotely monitor patients with chronic conditions, utilize technology for improved eldercare, and conduct virtual physician consultations (eVisits) is being seen as way to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the overall healthcare system, as well as to improve patient outcomes,” writes Tractica.
iHealth Beat reports that in the coming years, the areas of home healthcare technology which are expected to grow at the fastest rate are diagnosis, medical monitoring, and treatment. Other parts of the market include eldercare, health and wellness, and remote consultations.
“Key factors driving interest in home healthcare technologies include rising healthcare costs, aging populations, and a rise in the number of people living with chronic diseases,” said principal analyst Charul Vyas in a press release. “However, significant challenges remain for the industry to solve, including regulatory issues, data security and privacy, and technology interoperabilityand integration issues.”
Home healthcare technology has been used successfully in many cases, one of them being as a way to connect to doctors without a visit tothe hospital. One such technology, developed by the University of Missouri, streams patient video feeds live to doctors who can consult with their patients and advise them when it comes to their health. “Consider an elderly man who lives alone and falls and breaks his shoulder; when he falls, the system of sensors detects his fall and sends for help immediately,” said Marjorie Skubic, of the University’s College of Engineering.
According to predictions from Tractica, monitoring like this will be in nearly 80 million homes by 2020.