Remote cardiac event monitors are becoming an increasingly attractive means of cutting expenditure in cardiology, with spending on cardiovascular disease expected to increase from a figure of $273 billion in 2010, according to IHS Research.
The market-research company says that high healthcare expenditure is rooted in inefficient systems, with medical staff’s time taken by administrative tasks, and that healthcare IT could help to improve efficiency.
Cardiac event monitoring represents a form of remote monitoring used to identify arrhythmias and can be fitted by physicians, allowing patients to remotely transfer data for up to 30 days.
IHS reckons such devices are the answer to problems of too few beds, not enough staff and increasing numbers of patients.
It says that remote data transfer could safe time for patients and reduce the time physicians spend on analyzing data, increasing productivity and return on investment per patient.
The US is currently the biggest user of remote monitoring, says HIS, spending about $700 million on the technology in 2012.
Nevertheless, incomplete reimbursement, costly supporting infrastructure and security of patient data during transfer are all obstacles that need to be overcome before remote monitoring is more widely used – in both the US and Western Europe.
According to IHS, other areas of healthcare have been prioritized because the return on investment is more immediately obvious – with remote monitoring, notes the company, it might not be seen for years due to the necessary investment in supporting infrastructure.
Despite the barriers, IHS believes the advantages of remote monitoring are becoming increasingly attractive with the easing of healthcare budget restrictions, improving economies and the increasing burden of a disease that still plagues developed nations.