Updated on 17 September 2013
By continuing treatment and monitoring health in an environment where costs are lower, such as at home, the cost for providing healthcare is reduced
Healthcare has historically been provided in clinics and hospitals globally. With rising costs of healthcare, aging population, the desire to stay healthy even while indulging on an unhealthy lifestyle and most importantly, the availability of affordable but capable technologies have started the trend in personal health monitoring, Anytime and Anywhere, where and how we measure vital signs, has now become boundary-less. Investments made in the medical electronics have yielded remarkable advances in diagnostics and health monitoring. The general assumption by most has been that healthcare will continue to advance and be readily available to the developed world and will expand globally to regions that have been receiving minimal support. But with the spiraling costs of healthcare, the vision of ‘healthcare for all' is still a long way off.
A solution to reducing healthcare costs is to take advantage of the latest technologies and innovations that will enable patients to reduce hospital/doctor/clinic visits unless necessary, and as well as help them leave hospital more quickly, yet safely. By continuing treatment and monitoring health in an environment where costs are lower, such as at home, the cost for providing healthcare is reduced. Patients have the added benefit of recuperating in a comfortable setting. In developing nations like India, this has the enormous advantage of making healthcare affordable, which is the need for the hour. To maintain patient safety and reduce recurring in-hospital stays, or even avoiding a trip to the clinic/hospital unless necessary, high performance but affordable vital sign monitoring (VSM) devices designed to support the patient environment are essential. The out-of-hospital VSM market is growing exponentially and has the potential to outgrow many other market sectors.
So far, home health and wellness monitoring has been limited to simple thermometers, set of bathroom scales and in some household, the blood pressure or glucose monitors. Heart Rate Monitors (HRM) for sports and fitness, defined primarily by the chest strap or hand held electrodes on treadmills in the gym, are used as remote health monitoring devices.
Driving forces of the personal health monitoring trend are:
• Communications infrastructure that offers global access to healthcare resources
• Advancements in technologies that make remote health monitoring feasible and compliant to our lifestyles
• Growth in the support infrastructure that provides real-time motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle
• Realization that preemptive health monitoring can reduce the length and occurrence of in-hospital stays