European telemetry equipment market to reach nearly $180M by 2014
While the growth rates of the European telemetry equipment market are currently low, they will rise substantially in the coming years due to an increase in Europe’s elderly population and the need for cost-containment measures, according to a report from market research firm Frost & Sullivan.

The analysis found that the market earned revenues of $115 million in 2007, and is estimated to reach $179 million in 2014.

“The future of the European telemetry equipment market depends on standardizing frequencies for telemetry devices across the region in order to avoid user interference,” said Janani Narasimhan, Frost & Sullivan senior research analyst. “Aging baby boomers will be the catalysts in the rapid move towards telemetry.”

The report said that telemetry also offers substantial cost savings to physicians, hospitals and home health organizations monitoring their patients. At the same time, by constantly being connected, patients are more involved in the decision-making process regarding their treatment, as well as in the overall management of their health.

However, a lack of awareness and limited research is still hampering a wider uptake of telemetry. The decision to purchase telemetry equipment in European hospitals is made solely by anesthesiologists and cardiac specialists, according to Frost & Sullivan. The former focus on ICUs and compatibility with high acuity patients, while the latter focus on cardiac-related requirements.

“Diagnostic related group (DRG)-based, case-specific reimbursement, restrains the demand for telemetry equipment,” Narasimhan added. “Currently, the reimbursement of diagnostic imaging procedures in Europe is based on the site of care.”

The outcome of DRG-based reimbursement is that only a fixed amount of money is allocated on a case-specific basis, the report noted. The bulk of medical expenditure is borne by the patient.

For most hospitals, Frost & Sullivan said that expanding the ICU is not an intelligent solution and multi-parameter telemetry offers a cost-effective alternative to solving the issue of increasing the patient to caregiver ratio. An increase in the turnover of critical-care patients in hospitals will benefit from a multi-parameter telemetry setting.