Home health market soars as medical providers seek to cut costs


Medical providers’ efforts to reduce costs by taking a more holistic approach to healthcare will spur a doubling in the global market for home health technologies in the coming years, according to IHS Technology (NYSE: IHS).
Worldwide revenue for home healthcare devices and services will rise to $12.6 billion in 2018, up from $5.7 billion in 2013, as presented in the attached figure. The home healthcare market consists of six distinct segments: independent living services, consumer medical devices, telehealth, personal emergency response systems (PERS), wearable technologies and health gaming.

“Healthcare providers are focusing on patient centered care to increase the quality of medical treatment,” said Roeen Roashan, medical devices and digital health analyst at IHS. “By doing this, medical firms hope to attain lower healthcare expenditures during the lifetime of patients. Home health technologies will play an important role in the continuum of care and in the concept of constantly managing patients’ health.”

Home health craze

A major trend in the rise of home health technologies is convergence.

From a technology standpoint, the market will experience device convergence, meaning that home health products will become richer in features. This has already occurred to some extent with mobile PERS devices, which are able to act as gateway devices for telehealth, or activity monitors with optical heart-rate sensors.

The same phenomenon also will occur in services where IHS expects convergence among independent living services, telehealth and PERS. This trend implies a new generation of more comprehensive health services, which will benefit users of home health products.

Big data wades into healthcare cost war

Meanwhile, the quantity of patient-generated data will grow exponentially with the increasing use of home health technologies. Big data in healthcare will determine the success of population health management, which is essential to the business model of accountable-care organizations and their objective of providing value-based care.

In addition, healthcare IT vendors are developing highly connected and interoperable solutions taking advantage of patient-generated data to support the decision-making process of healthcare professionals, and to create the inevitable bridge between clinical care and home health.

Furthermore, there is a trend of consumerism in healthcare, implying a renewed focus on the patient and on patient needs. This not only is happening in the market for home health technologies, but also in clinical care, healthcare information technology (IT), and other parts of the medical sector.

The battle against rising healthcare costs

“As home health technologies converge, a new generation of comprehensive solutions will provide the foundation for a continuum of care,” Roashan said. “The healthcare industry has been engaged in an extensive battle against rising expenditures, due to the deteriorating health of the population and the mismanagement of patients. However, with the shift toward value-based care, victory is in sight. Home health technologies, as one segment of healthcare delivery, represent an important factor in accountable-care organizations’ overall goal of providing patient-centered care through population health management.”

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