Lack of standardization, evidence hinders wireless patient monitoring

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Although venture capitalists recognize the potential for long-term returns from bringing "disruptive" wireless patient monitoring (WPM) technologies to market, the lack of standards in interoperability may delay the scaling up of these technologies, says a new report from research firm Frost & Sullivan.

"The lack of standardization of wireless data interfacing sensors and monitoring devices needs attention as soon as possible," states the report. "Standardization among the different entities in the WPM market is necessary to improve interoperability among devices, choice of system assembly, and other related services."

Moreover, WPM companies need to back their technology with "strong evidence-based clinical trials" and "routine adoption of outcome measures as part of patient assessment," argues the report.  This is critical because "investors need documented proof before investing," asserts the report.

Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Saju John Mathew notes that investment funding in wireless patient monitoring technologies have increased as a healthcare solution to an aging population, rising rates of chronic diseases, a growing need to manage patients remotely, as well as increasing hospital costs.

Another recent research report predicts that WPM technologies will save nearly $200 billion by managing chronic diseases in the U.S. over the next 25 years. The report cites other estimates that suggest remote monitoring can reduce the costs for caring for the elderly in rural areas by allowing seniors to live independently and spend more time at home, while reducing the need for face to-face medical consultations by 25 percent.

Nevertheless, according to the Frost & Sullivan report, the government needs to encourage reimbursement for healthcare that employs wireless patient monitoring, or else end users may be reluctant to adopt this technology.

In addition, the report argues that irregular and diverse safety regulations across different geographies could hinder widespread technology adoption. Another major hurdle to the global uptake of WPM technology that the report cites is the "digital divide" between the developed and developing countries.

To learn more:
- read the announcement

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