A New Generation Of eHealth Services Are Set To Disrupt The Healthcare Market

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Innovations in personalised healthcare and a growing interest in healthcare related consumer electronics will help ehealth providers to build and market services that disrupt the business models of incumbent healthcare providers.

The market for wireless based ehealth monitoring and diagnostics services is currently being driven by the incumbent healthcare provider's desire to push key elements of the care process out towards the edge of their healthcare network. According to a report published this week by Cambridge based analysts Wireless Healthcare, health provider’s attempts to cut costs by treating the patient remotely, rather than within a bricks and mortar hospital, have provided the basis for a number of ehealth trials and contributes to the revenues of ehealth service providers such as Card Guard and Vitaphone.

However the report, “Wireless Based Remote Monitoring And Diagnostics,” concludes that existing services tend only to address the healthcare needs of patients who are already receiving treatment. Wireless Healthcare see a new ehealth model emerging; one that is better equipped to intercept people before they enter the healthcare system. The report highlights technologies being developed by IT vendors such as Oracle and IBM as key enablers of the new ehealth model. According to the report, electronics companies who are attempting to shift medical device technology into the mainstream consumer electronics market are also playing an important role. Also highlighted in the report is a growing market for end to end managed wireless and mobile connections such as Qualcomm’s QConnect - which is currently being used by CardioNet to transport data from mobile heart monitors to servers hosting monitoring and diagnostic applications.

Wireless Healthcare discovered that the current generation of ehealth providers often compromise their service model by working closely with incumbent healthcare providers. According to the report, ehealth service providers will need to decide whether to persist with their existing ehealth model, or to take a new and more disruptive approach to the market. The report, noting that UK based NHS Direct has already made cuts to its call centre staff, sees a plateau in the market for call centre based services as users migrate to cheaper online options. The report also notes that the adoption of automated medical diagnostic software will accelerate, as ehealth service providers realise that centre operations will not scale economically to support thousands of patients.

The report explains that an important market driver for the next generation of ehealth services will be the inability, or reluctance, on the part of incumbent healthcare providers to reposition themselves within a changing market. “A number of incumbent healthcare providers have shown a reluctance to take on board changes to working practices, and have failed to embrace IT in the same way that companies in the financial services and retail sectors have.” explains Peter Kruger, Senior Analyst with Wireless Healthcare. He goes on to point out; “Advances in personalised healthcare, and the growing interest that the baby boomer generation is showing in wireless monitoring devices, will provide opportunities for ehealth providers who wish to deliver healthcare services to the ‘worried well,’ and people considered to be ‘at risk’. These two groups of healthcare consumers tend to be ignored by incumbent healthcare providers.” Kruger sees this as a signal that the next generation of ehealth services could disrupt the business model of incumbent healthcare providers, and provide a route into the market for a large number of ehealth service providers and medical technology companies.

The report also points to important applications of remote monitoring and diagnostics in the monitoring of epidemics and other threats to public health.

“Wireless Based Remote Monitoring And Diagnostics,” an independent report produced by Wireless Healthcare, is available from http://www.wirelesshealthcare.co.uk.

About Wireless Healthcare

Wireless Healthcare are UK based analysts specialising in the application of mobile and wireless technology in the healthcare sector.

http://www.wirelesshealthcare.co.uk

For further details contact: -

Toby Jackson

Wireless Healthcare

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