5 top healthcare trends of 2014

Telemedicine makes the cut
By Erin McCann
11:25 AM
For healthcare, 2014 proved a most pivotal year, replete with big regulatory happenings. This past year, hospitals struggled with Stage 2; they dealt with breaches, ACA enrollments and big population health initiatives. All in all, it was a busy year. But among all the happenings, there were five big healthcare trends that really set themselves apart in 2014. This according to a list compiled by market research firm Kalorama Information. 
Among the top five biggest trends? No surprise here: Health IT made the cut. 
Kalorama officials identified an industry interest in remote patient monitoring solutions and telemedicine as one of the top trends this year.
In fact, according to the firm's 2013 telemedicine market analysis, the sector is poised for some serious triple digit expansion over the next few years. We're talking a whopping 237 percent growth in the market. In 2007, the world's telemedicine patient monitoring market was pegged at $4.2 billion. In 2012, that number more than doubled to $10 billion.
And, although, researchers consider the telemedicine market to be "small-to moderate" in size, with aging populations, rising healthcare costs and as more providers go digital, it won't stay that way. In fact, experts project it to reach $29 billion by year's end, growing at a rate of 9 percent over the next four years. 
Another trend identified? Medical device companies are also growing, Kalorama officials pointed out. They're out buying up other companies, signifying some serious mergers and acquisitions for the industry. Big deals inked this year included Medtronic's $42.9 billion acquisition of Covidien. 
Other 2014 trends included:
  • Next-generation DNA sequencing moves into clinical medicine: Personalized medicine is taking off, representing serious interest to using lower cost, expedient DNA sequencing for better understanding of disease and specific abnormalities
  • Demand for biopharmaceutical production: There remains a market demand for new pharmaceutical drugs to be created, driving the 11 percent revenue growth of the biopharm production market this year, where it reached a $41 billion value. 
  • BRIC growth good but not great: In terms of economic growth, BRIC nations saw faster growth that the U.S. market, but it has slowed down from previous years.
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