According to new a report from analyst firm Berg Insight, around 2.2 million patients worldwide were using a home monitoring service with integrated connectivity at the end of 2011. The firm forecasts that the number of home monitoring systems with integrated communication capabilities will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18% between 2012 and 2016 reaching 4.9 million connections globally.
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom announced that telecare and telehealth systems will be rolled out to three million people over the next five years as part of a plan to help patients and reduce costs.
Prime Minister David Cameron launched “3 Million Lives”, a campaign that aims to enhance the lives of people living with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, by accelerating the rollout of services across England.
Qualcomm Incorporated (San Diego, Calif., U.S.A.) announced on Monday the formation of a wholly owned medical device subsidiary, Qualcomm Life Inc., which aims to connect medical devices wirelessly via cloud-based services so biometric information is accessible by device users and health care providers.
Digi International (Minnetonka, Minn., U.S.A.), a wireless M2M device provider, on Tuesday released the iDigi Telehealth Application Kit - a development kit that allows customers to create cloud-connected medical devices.
Lantronix (Irvine, Calif., U.S.A.), a provider of smart connectivity for electronic devices, on Wednesday announced the launch of a medical device aggregator that allows for the collection of live data from any location to be delivered whenever and wherever is necessary.
Last week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) granted $6 million in funding to establish 10 telemedicine and health care projects to six states that have areas that are currently lacking adequate care.
"[This] funding can help improve the health of rural residents who live in the south central portion of the country," says Tom Vilsack, USDA secretary. "These projects can provide care to patients currently receiving no care at all and hopefully reduce the incidence of stroke, mental illness, and other health disorders in rural regions."
Many M2M analysts forecast that the markets for connected medical devices may not grow as quickly as deployments in areas like automotive telematics and smart grid, but the brain trust at Wi-Fi device manufacturer Lantronix (Irvine, Calif., USA) does not agree. The company has seen embedded systems for medical devices grow to 10% of its $50 million (US) top-line sales, and expects the overall market for such medical connectivity to continue to increase.
In the future, remotely monitoring health conditions may not longer require a bulky connected device, but “Smart Skin.” MC10 Inc (Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A.), a company developing next-generation electronic systems, is working with the University of Illinois to develop smart skin, and epidermal electronic system containing transistors, sensors, receivers and transmitters that can be bent, stretched and wrinkled just like real skin.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and American Well (Boston, Mass., U.S.A.), a telehealth software company, on Friday announced an initiative to bring telehealth services to U.S. war veterans in their homes and workplaces. The initiative will use American Well's Online Care system to provide care for veterans, particularly those remotely located from VA medical centers, says American Well.
Last week, CARTES and IDentification (Paris, France), a conference focusing on digital security and smart technologies, released developments in the e-health and telehealth fields prior to its 2011 show in November. According to CARTES and IDentification, one of the major developments is the use of smart security technologies in improving medical patient care.