Imagine not having to drive to your family doctor for a regular check up; no reading three year old copies of National Geographic while you patiently wait for the doctor to call your name, but instead, being able to check your blood pressure or glucose level from the comfort of your own home using mobile medical devices, and then have that data sent electronically to your doctor. Sounds great, right? Welcome to the world of remote patient monitoring (RPM) – a market whose revenues are projected to hit US$26.4 billion globally by 2018.
There are two demographics that stand to gain the most from the remote patient monitoring revolution: people who live in rural areas and patients who are homebound. 25% of the U.S. population who live in rural areas do not have access to a doctor because only 10% of the country’s doctors work there. Patients who are homebound and would normally require an ambulance to get to their doctor will also benefit greatly from remote patient monitoring. RPM is not just about convenience however, as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) estimates that the use of remote patient monitoring could save the healthcare industry $700 billion over 15 to 20 years.