European remote patient monitoring markets to reach $400M in 2014
The quality and benefits of available remote patient monitoring (RPM) technology are making the devices increasingly attractive, despite the costs historically involved, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan, a market research firm.

Frost & Sullivan reported that the European remote patient monitoring markets earned revenues of $175 million in 2007 and the firm estimates this to reach $400 million in 2014.

“The heightened demands of an aging population and a related increase in chronic diseases are encouraging market growth,” said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Janani Narasimhan. “RPM has the potential to change the way patients manage their own conditions so that they become the keepers of their own healthcare.”

Technology is constantly changing to support better healthcare services, while steadily improving patient monitoring capabilities. However, limited reimbursement is dampening market potential in Europe. The lack of adequate reimbursement streams will pose a major challenge to companies wishing to boost their unit sales and market revenues, while privacy and confidentiality issues cloud the market as well, according to the report.

“A critical challenge is governments' refusal to reimburse remote monitoring of patients,” explains Narasimhan. “With no financial incentive for healthcare providers to implement this technology, providers are likely to view RPM as an increase in workload without a subsequent hike in pay. On the other hand, connecting personal health information to the internet exposes this data to more hostile attacks than paper-based medical records.”

Although reimbursement and technology-related issues will remain barriers, they are surmountable. With all the cost benefits conferred by remote patient monitoring, consumers are increasingly demanding improved quality from their healthcare providers, the report concluded.