A new Frost & Sullivan report says wireless patient monitoring market revenues are set to double this year. The industry is getting a boost from a combination of factors including an aging population and the Affordable Care Act’s impact shifting the healthcare industry to an outcomes-based care model. It’s also been helped by the confidence in this industry, demonstrated by the backing of deep pocketed venture capital firms and wireless providers like AT&T, Qualcomm and Verizon.
But the confidence in the sector demonstrated by these heavy hitters is tempered by the fact that the wireless monitoring industry is still in the early stages of its growth. Compatibility and security issues are still being worked out, particularly privacy issues. As the report points out, better regulatory action and greater collaboration will help businesses in the sector to scale up. With that in mind, here are five innovative remote monitoring companies to watch that could help providers meet their accountable care goals.
CardioNet Remote heart monitoring systems are of particular interest to hospitals trying to reduce avoidable re-admissions for heart failure to avoid Medicare reimbursement penalties. The cardiac monitoring company (NASDAQ: BEAT)) led by Joseph Capper has been growing its business through acquisitions and smart partnerships seen a transformation in the past year. This week it announced a partnership with AirStrip Technologies that will transmit cardiac data from CardioNet’s wireless heart monitor device (its Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry system) to clinicians’ mobile devices, including tablets and phones. The move will help health systems combine cardiac data with electronic medical records and device information to improve patient monitoring and clinician decision-making at the point of care.
Intuitive Health The company uses AT&T’s wireless connectivity to transmit data from patients’ personal health devices to their healthcare providers. The system is designed to help alert providers to potential complications before patients require readmission. It raised $3.4 million earlier this year. AT&T’s move reflects similar efforts by Qualcomm Life which has provided its 2net wireless platform and hub to provide wireless connectivity to medical device companies.
Sotera Wireless The medical device company’s non-invasive standlone sensors that’s part of its ViSi Mobile System received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year. It’s designed to be used in ambulatory, non-ICU clinical settings. It’s about the size of a sports watch and captures and wirelessly transmits core vital signs including blood pressure, heart rate, pulse rate, ECG, respiration rate and skin temperature. Future models will include sensing technology and be able to record posture among other things.
eCaring The health IT company’s core market are senior citizens. Its CareTracker system generates actionable data, flags changes in health patterns. The information is transmitted to care managers. It is developing an institutional care model that’s being used in pilot programs at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn and Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan, where it’s being used to reduce readmissions of cardiac care patients.
Healthsense The remote monitoring company also focuses on the senior living market. The company’s devices enable passive monitoring for seniors’ activity level inside their homes or in larger community living spaces, assisted living or nursing homes. Its eNeighbor remote monitoring system helps caregivers automatically detect emergency situations like falls and emerging health concerns before they turn into emergencies.
There’s also a potential gamechanging technology in the patient monitoring sector coming up:
Belly Band Although technically it’s not a company just yet, it’s one of the most interesting concepts for a remote monitoring device I’ve seen. The belly band is being developed through a research collaboration between the Drexel University College of Engineering and the College of Media Arts and Design, and funded through a Coulter Foundation grant. It’s a smart fabric for pregnant women with an embedded antenna. The fabric band has conductive yarn that transmits radio signals to indicate any changes in the shape of the uterus and can be picked up with ultrasound. It could be used to alert obstetricians to possible complications with a pregnancy.