Wireless health market poised for growth

Global market expected to reach $59.7 billion by 2018

The global wireless health market has hit growth mode, according to new report findings, which project the market will expand more than 20 percent within a five-year period. 
 
The report, conducted by Research and Markets, pegs the wireless health market currently at $23.8 billion, expected to reach $59.7 billion by 2018, the growth being attributed to the uptick in remote patient monitoring applications and diagnostics, aging populations and growing hospital deficits. 
 
Wireless network technologies represent the largest market segment and will continue to be the largest contributor over the next five years, researchers say. 
 
[See also: Mobile health app market in growth mode.]
 
The mobile devices and mobile apps segment, however, is also growing rapidly and will continue to grow at a similar pace over the next few years due to its wide applications and increased adoption by various healthcare professionals, pharmaceutical companies and research laboratories.
 
However, some say consumers, not healthcare organizations, are contributing most significantly to market growth. According to a recent IMS Research report, wireless health devices utilized by the consumer will actually prove the biggest part of the market. An estimated 50 million wireless health devices will be distributed for consumer monitoring applications over the next five years, with a fewer number of devices being used by telehealth patients. 
 
“Due to the relatively slow deployment of managed telehealth systems, which is in part due to a reluctance from health providers to move past trials, issues with reimbursement and stringent regulations related to the use and storage of medical data, medical devices used by the consumer to independently monitor their health will provide the biggest uptake of wireless technology in consumer health devices over the next five years,” said Lisa Arrowsmith, senior analyst at IMS Research, when releasing the 2012 IMS Research report. 
 
[See also: Who should oversee mHealth regs?.]
 
Despite the market growth projected by Research and Markets, the industry needs to deal with issues such as uncertainty about security, privacy, lack of standards and reimbursements, to name a few. 
 
North America is the biggest market for wireless health in 2013, followed by Europe and APAC. However, increasing demand from Asian countries has attracted players such as Qualcomm, Verizon,  Hewlett Packard and GE Healthcare. China is the leading market and Japan shows promising growth opportunities in this region, according to the report.