A new report from the IoT analyst firm Berg Insight has found that around 30.7 million people in North America were using connected care solutions at the end of 2022.
The figure refers to users of medical alert systems, connected medication management solutions and remote patient monitoring (RPM) solutions in Canada and the US.
RPM is the largest segment of the connected care market with a total of 28.3 million users at the end of 2022. The market for medical alert systems is considerably smaller with an estimated total of 4.4 million users, whereas the number of connected medication management users reached 1.8 million users at the end of 2022. 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 15..4 percent during the next five years to reach 62.7 million connected care users by 2027.
The leading use cases for RPM have thus far been sleep therapy monitoring. Patients that suffer from sleep-disordered breathing such as obstructive sleep apnea are typically prescribed an airflow generator, including continuous positive airway pressure, bilevel positive airway pressure and automatic positive airway pressure devices. However, many patients find the devices unpleasant to use and poor compliance is common. Payers are increasingly requiring that patients comply with their treatment plans to be reimbursed for the device which has driven equipment providers to connect the devices. ResMed is the largest player of connected airflow generators, partly thanks to the company’s decision to include a cellular IoT module as standard in its Air Solutions product family.
In the medical alert market, Connect America has emerged as the largest service provider after the acquisition of the Lifeline business from Philips in 2021, and is followed by Lively, Medical Guardian and Mobilehelp. The medication management market is still in an early phase and comprises several different types of solutions. The largest segment for connected solutions is injected medication, which is dominated by insulin pump providers such as Medtronic, Insulet and Tandem Diabetes Care. Other form factors such as such as connected medication caps, blister packs, pillboxes and pill dispensers are also starting to get traction.
“There is especially an increasing interest from research organisations and pharmaceutical companies to use medication management solutions in clinical trials”, said Samuel Andersson, IoT Analyst at Berg Insight.
The North American market for connected care solutions is affected by several trends and developments that will have an impact on the competitive landscape during 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. The industry is becoming more patient-centric which calls for integrated systems and improved interoperability of connected care solutions. One example of this development is the on-going convergence of the medical alert and remote patient monitoring markets, where more and more medical alert providers have started to offer remote patient monitoring solutions. This includes integrated solutions that enable a combined delivery of medical alert and remote patent monitoring services.
Mr Andersson concluded:
“Care providers will start to offer more and more proactive and predictive services, by continuously analysing user data and acting on abnormalities. Such solutions rely on data not only from medical alert devices, but also from other sources such as smart home sensors, healthcare records and connected medical devices.”