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Digital health investing: Health IT is a conservative market as far as new tech adoption

Growth will increase over the forecast period as compatibility, privacy and security issues continue to be resolved.

Growth will increase over the forecast period as compatibility, privacy and security issues continue to be resolved

By ICTpost Health IT Bureau

The digital health industry has seen a 12 percent investment increase in the first half of 2016, though growth is slower than a year ago. The traditional venture firms are fascinated by digital health, but it’s still so early that they don’t want to overextend themselves. The major areas of health care IT funding in 2016 are remote patient monitoring, big data analytics, hospital administration, EHRs and wellness.

Remote patient monitoring: Widespread use of remote patient monitoring is still years away, but we are moving towards an age where mHealth solutions will become part of standard care pathways. Some 2.8 million patients worldwide were using remote monitoring services by 2012’s end, to reach 9.4 million by 2017. Aging populations, greater healthcare expenditures, dwindling healthcare resources, advancing technologies and the cost effectiveness of patient monitoring systems all contribute to the market’s surge in growth. Sales will be driven in new technologies as older monitoring equipment is replaced by wireless or remote monitors. Growth will increase over the forecast period as compatibility, privacy and security issues continue to be resolved.

The market for advanced remote patient monitoring is highly fragmented. The majority of companies selling peripherals and systems to the home healthcare and nursing home markets are primarily privately-held, smaller companies.

Other advances in remote patient monitoring include new peripherals, real-time audio and telemedicine interaction between clinicians and patients, wireless communication, systems that sort the vast amount of data collected in order to put it into the context of a patient’s condition, portable and ambulatory monitors, Web-based access to the patient record and other functions.

Analytics and big data: Big data is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications. The challenges include capture, curation, storage, search, sharing, transfer, analysis, and visualization. Big data and new enterprise cloud architectures are revolutionizing every industry in every country in the world.

Wellness: products in this space target employers/payers and consumers directly to encourage health and prevent illness. Thanks to the government’s initiatives, more children are being immunized. More people are quitting smoking. More communities are fighting chronic disease. More people are being screened for hepatitis.There is a concern about prevention. We have to ensure that every Indian has access to a medical home and health insurance.

Personal health tools and tracking: enable consumers to take charge of their health. Mobile health is a hot topic these days. It seems that patient-facing apps will be key in moving folks to a constant state of awareness when it comes to the health and wellbeing of their families, which in turn will be integral to getting their buy-in for future coordinated/accountable care programs. editor@ictpost.com

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