Home Health Monitoring Worth €7.6bn, says Berg

The global market for home health monitoring of welfare diseases, often centred around mobile technology, was worth approximately €7.6bn (£6.5bn) in 2010, according to a new research report from the analyst firm, Berg Insight.

Some of the most common conditions being monitored today are chronic diseases including diabetes, cardiac arrhythmia, sleep apnea, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These conditions cause substantial costs and reduce both life expectancy and quality of life. Berg Insight estimates that more than 200m people in the EU and the US suffer from one or several chronic diseases where home monitoring can become a treatment option.

mHealth is a term for healthcare practice supported by electronic processes and communication using mobile phones or cellular network technologies. It’s a broad term that involves every kind of mobile health related communication, application or data service. The Berg report covers home health monitoring involving patient self-testing using medical devices, and remote transmission of the medical data to healthcare providers for disease management.

“Progress is being made in the adoption of wireless technology among manufacturers of medical monitoring equipment, but there is still a long way to go before remote monitoring becomes a standard practice in the healthcare sector,” says André Malm, senior analyst at Berg Insight.

He adds that consumer-oriented health and wellness monitoring will drive the mHealth segment in the near-term, noting that a growing number of wellness and medical monitors can be connected to a mobile phone via Bluetooth or other short-range technologies, and that more and more health and wellness apps, ranging from BMI calculators, diet guides and sport trackers to medical reference apps, are being released for smartphones. “The number of apps focusing on chronic disease management is however still relatively low,” he concludes.