Everybody is aware that the global population is aging. The over-65 set is perceived as a sure market, and the creation of products to service them is seen as the next great gold rush. In actuality though, seniors are a challenging, non-homogenous target market. Soon-to-be seniors are facing aging in an unprecedented way. They are living longer, they are more adamant in guarding their independence and they are more technologically savvy than previous generations.
Seniors overwhelmingly want to age in place, but family members living afar worry about their elderly relatives living alone. The reality is that eventually most seniors will get sick or suffer from injury-related disabilities. In the current economic climate, remote living family members’ worry is compounded by the fact it is challenging for many seniors to sell their houses, and without selling their homes or having significant savings, many cannot afford to move to long-term-care facilities.
Advances in communications and information technology (IT) have created products that make remote monitoring feasible. Smart phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and wireless networks are everywhere, including within seniors’ residences. These technologies carry both economic and emotional appeal to caregivers and the elderly. This report examines whether the excitement surrounding new mobile apps and smart monitoring systems that cater to the elderly can achieve the anticipated mainstream success.
Elder-care technologies do not comprise a defined market. This report examines two types of remote monitoring systems—home telehealth and safety monitoring—which encompass the most important breakthroughs in elder care. The elderly represent a large subset of potential users of these systems, but these technologies were not intended exclusively for elder use. Undeniably though, these technologies have the potential to improve the aging experience while also benefiting society at large by improving the quality and efficiency of care for the elderly and potentially saving the healthcare industry a significant sum of money.
STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
This report is an update of the 2010 BCC report titled HLC079A – Technologies for Long-Term Care and Home Healthcare: Global Markets. Its goal is to examine a unique industry segment poised for tremendous potential expansion in light of the most recent available data. The technologies in this report (i.e., remote health- and safety-monitoring systems) are pivotal for improving the quality of care for the elderly and increasing efficiencies throughout the continuum of care.
Specific objectives of this report include:
- To analyze the 2012 market and forecast demand for elder-care technologies for remote monitoring and safety-monitoring devices through 2018 by geographic region, technology type and benefit to the global healthcare industry.
- To describe the ways in which changing medical needs driven by an aging population, the necessity to cut costs in the delivery of care, and further adoption of technology and broadband connectivity by seniors will accelerate future demand for remote monitoring devices and home safety technology.
- To describe the ways in which efforts to increase interoperability of consumer medical products and the examination of the resulting standards will accelerate future utilization of elder technologies.
- To describe the regulatory framework that controls the introduction of new remote monitoring devices in varied long-term care settings.
- To describe the ways in which efforts to create a nationally adopted health information technology (IT) platform in the U.S. and a E.U.-based platform will accelerate efforts to bridge data gaps and more seamlessly integrate home care and provider-based point-of-care medical records.
- To analyze the growth of patents granted for innovations that provide the technological basis for advances in remote patient monitoring (RPM) and personal safety devices.
- To examine the challenges that must be overcome for these technologies to achieve commercial success in the industry.
- To examine reimbursement policies and other financial considerations that will dictate the adoption pace of these elder technologies.
- To identify the product manufacturers that will drive innovation and create demand for technological components, particularly sensors.
- To examine international players in this market segment with the greatest commercial potential, as well as to identify future industry players that could influence the long-term commercialization of elder technologies.
REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY
The healthcare industry is not sustainable in its current form. Emerging trends in the healthcare industry combined with demographic changes and technological advances provide the impetus for this report.
The motivation and timeliness for this report is shown in the convergence of many trends:
- The global growth of the senior population will strain the capabilities of healthcare providers and the financial resources of healthcare payers.
- Seniors’ desire to age in place is often complicated by the dispersion of the immediate family unit and projected workforce shortages.
- Advances in communications capabilities, including increased utilization of broadband and cellular networks, have coincided with the willingness of the elderly and their caregivers to utilize technology.
- The need to alter reimbursement strategies and align them with outcomes to improve care and contain costs is being re-examined.
- A paradigm shift in medical practice from acute care to prevention and disease management is accompanied by a geographic shift from point-of–care treatment in medical settings to patient location.
Together these factors have increased patient engagement and responsibility for their own well-being.
SCOPE OF REPORT
This report is a business analysis with the primary purpose of examining the potential market for elder-care technologies, specifically home telehealth and safety monitoring. The report includes sections on:
- Descriptions of home telehealth and safety-monitoring technologies and drivers of their adoption.
- Current status of the long-term care environment, including trends and factors affecting growth.
- Current and projected market status of these technologies.
- General regulatory and standards overview.
- Patent trend analysis.
- Information on the industry players.
This report is intended for anyone interested in the elder-care and remote-technology markets. Executives, consultants, trade associations and marketing professionals in the medical device industry, machine-to-machine (M2M) industry, health insurance industry, long-term care industry, health information technology (HIT) industry, superconductor industry, and the broadband and wireless communications industry will benefit from the information included this report. Payers, stock analysts, venture capital (VC) funders and investors interested in senior markets, opportunities in the general healthcare industry, or expanding markets for cellular and wireless communications services will also benefit. Manufacturers and distributors of the technology and component parts discussed in this report are also part of the intended audience.
BCC Research reviewed reports, white papers and studies produced by industry, trade associations, corporations, professional organizations, payers, governments, healthcare providers and academia as sources for this report. BCC also compiled data from the U.S. Census Bureau; the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); and sub-agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) medical device data registry, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Interviews were conducted with industry sources, consultants, manufacturers, academics and researchers.
The authors of the original 2010 report on which this updated report is based include Allison Coplein, an attorney with a background in business and transactional activities, and Lori Solomon, a freelance writer with a focus on public health issues.
The analyst responsible for updating this report is Andrew McWilliams, a partner in the Boston–based international technology and marketing consulting firm 43rd Parallel LLC. Mr. McWilliams is the author or co-author of many other BCC studies, including studies in related fields such as HLC047D Disabled and Elderly Assistive Technologies; HLC054C Global Markets and Technologies for Home Medical Equipment; HLC066B Medical Automation Technologies Products and Markets; HLC038C Patient Monitoring, HLC014E Global Markets for Telemedicine Technologies; and IAS031B The U.S. Market for Home Automation and Security Technologies.
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The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal or accounting advice; nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or its use.