A new report from the IoT analyst firm Berg Insight has found that around 18.0 million people in North America were using connected care solutions at the end of 2018.
The ageing population and the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases will be two of the greatest challenges in North America during this century. It is widely believed that connected care solutions can ease the burden on society by enabling more efficient delivery of care and allowing people to live independently for longer. Berg Insight’s definition of connected care includes medical alert systems, connected medication management solutions and remote patient monitoring (RPM) solutions.
Medical alert systems, also known as personal emergency response systems (PERS), comprises solutions that trigger an alarm when the user presses a button or when a passive sensor detects an accident. Connected medication management solutions comprise medication dispensers, pillboxes, pill bottles, vials caps, blister packages, injection devices, insulin pumps and inhalers that are connected to a monitoring platform to improve medication adherence.
RPM solutions comprise connected medical devices and monitoring services that are used for remote management of patients suffering from arrhythmia, asthma, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, diabetes, hypertension or obstructive sleep apnea.
At the end of 2018, there were 18.0 million people that relied on connected care services in North America. RPM is the largest and most mature segment of the connected care market having a total of 16.1 million users at the end of 2018. The market for medical alert systems is considerably smaller with an estimated total of 3.1 million users, whereas the number of connected medication management users reached 900,000 at the end of 2018. There is an overlap between the market segments as medical alert users can also be equipped with a medication management solution or an RPM solution, and vice versa. The market is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.3 percent during the next six years to reach 49.4 million connected care users by 2024. Berg Insight expects that RPM will remain the largest segment of the connected care market with a forecasted 47.4 million users in 2024. The number of connected medication management users and medical alert system users will at the same time reach 3.2 million and 4.3 million respectively.
The market for RPM solutions involves a wide range of actors, from specialised equipment vendors to integrated mHealth solution providers. The leading RPM application has thus far been sleep therapy compliance monitoring. Patients that suffer from sleepdisordered breathing such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are typically prescribed an airflow generator. However, many patients find the devices unpleasant to use and poor compliance is common.
Payers increasingly require that patients comply with their treatment plans to be reimbursed for the device which has driven equipment vendors to connect the devices. The sleep therapy device segment is dominated by Philips and ResMed. The market for connected medication management solutions represents an interesting growth opportunity for companies from several markets. The use of connected insulin dosing systems has thus far gained most traction, but different connected solutions for pills and inhaled medication are increasingly adopted. In contrast, the market for medical alert systems is mature and key actors include Anelto, Essence Group, GreatCall, LogicMark, MobileHelp, Mytrex, Nortek and Phillips Lifeline
The North American market for connected care solutions is affected by several trends and developments that will have an impact on the competitive landscape in the following years. Changing demographics is driving the demand for home care, while technological developments and regulatory changes affect the competitive landscape for solution vendors. One of the major ongoing changes is the sunset of the landline telephone networks and cellular 3G networks, which forces equipment providers to upgrade their products. At the same time, the industry is becoming more patient-centric which calls for integrated systems and improved interoperability of connected care solutions. New companies are entering the connected care market and connected medication management solutions are today in the centre of attention for start-ups.