The market for patient-monitoring equipment is valued at more than $5 billion. The telehealth market is expected to grow most rapidly, with the growing interest in remote healthcare and the declining number of hospitals in the United States. However, the landscape of the pulse oximetry and electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring markets will experience the biggest shift, given the emergence of disruptive technologies.
The iData Research report suite on the U.S. market for patient-monitoring equipment includes multi-parameter vital signs monitoring, wireless ambulatory telemetry monitoring, telehealth, intracranial pressure monitoring, electromyogram monitoring, cerebral oximetry, fetal and neonatal monitoring, cerebral oximetry, cardiac output monitoring, blood pressure monitoring, and electrocardiography monitoring.
Growth of the Telehealth Market
Telehealth refers to the remote monitoring and clinical management of patient’s vital signs through the use of devices in the home environment. Some common peripheral devices include blood pressure cuffs, weight scales, blood glucose monitors, and pulse oximeters.
The telehealth monitoring market has grown tremendously in recent years, fueled by increasing awareness of the benefits of remote monitoring and home healthcare. Growth was heavily driven by telehealth monitoring for disease management, which represented approximately 60% of total telehealth revenue in 2018, both from purchases and leased devices. Cardiac implantable electric devices accounted for the remainder of the telehealth market.
Currently, the United States boasts the most mature telehealth market in the world as well as a diverse competitive landscape, attributable to a trend toward reimbursement reform and the successes of large-scale deployment initiatives. Moreover, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), America’s largest purveyor of home telehealth, continues to rapidly expand the size of its remote patient monitoring (RPM) programs and funding.
There had been some anticipation regarding more inclusive Medicare policies that would potentially cover a wider range of telehealth services in 2019, most notably face-to-face teleconsultations. Patients with Medicare Part B medical insurance may be covered for telemedicine services, such as video-chat communications, although coverage is contingent on location and proximity to what may be considered as a rural area. The telehealth segment is expected to grow rapidly over the forecast period at an 11.4% CAGR, representing the fastest-growing patient-monitoring equipment market.
Source: iData Research Inc.
One-of-a-Kind Technologies Disrupt the U.S. Patient-Monitoring Equipment Market
Sales of patient monitoring devices are largely driven by advancements in technology, which is especially apparent in the pulse oximetry and EEG monitoring markets. With regards to pulse oximetry, Rhythmlink is the only company that currently has FDA clearance for MR-conditional electrodes for 1.5T and 3T scanners and has been the only competitor in the market since 2013. Increased adoption of MR-conditional electrodes will accelerate market growth as specialists consider switching to these premium consumables. The benefit to the purchaser lies in the long-term cost savings, as the ability to avoid electrode replacement helps to save time and labor costs and to enhance workflow efficiency. Rhythmlink currently does not have any reusable electrodes and is anticipated to continue to grow through ongoing product innovation in the overall EEG electrode market. Ongoing product improvements include innovations that ensure electrodes stay on longer and are more efficient. Other anticipated product innovations will aid user friendliness and speed and reduce the margin of error. Ives EEG Solutions received FDA clearance for its MR Conditional Cup Electrode in December 2017. Nonetheless, competition is not expected to intensify in this segment as it is a difficult market to enter. Aside from the long process for clearance, MR-conditional electrodes are a risky space to break into, as they do incorporate the aspect of patient safety risks.
Kestrel Labs was another product pioneer in the patient-monitoring equipment market. Although its NiCO Noninvasive CO-Oximeter product has to yet to receive FDA approval, it holds great potential to revolutionize the pulse oximetry space. In the past, Masimo emerged with sophisticated Rainbow Pulse CO-Oximetry and Rainbow Acoustic Monitoring solutions. In addition to SpO2 monitoring, the Rainbow SET (signal extraction technology) platform allows the measurement of respiration rate and blood constituents that previously could only be measured through invasive tests, such as hemoglobin (SpHb) and fluid responsiveness Pleth Variability Index (PVI). The associated sensors integrate around 8 to 15 LED light sources. As such, these products demand a significant price markup relative to alternative products, which has limited their growth on the market. Concerns regarding LED technology have also grown over the years, as “noisy light” may interfere with signaling for monitoring devices and subsequently lead to inaccurate readings. Kestrel Labs has developed a laser-based oximeter to overcome inaccurate readings, while providing sophisticated data at a competitive price relative to Masimo’s current business model. Laser technologies are expected to revolutionize the total pulse oximetry space once it hits the market.
The leading companies sustained their ranking in the overall patient-monitoring market through product innovations and, more notably, strategic mergers and acquisitions. The respective space was led by key players such as Medtronic, Philips Healthcare, Masimo, and GE Healthcare in the United States.
In 2018, Medtronic acquired Mazor Robotics in a deal of approximately $1.2 billion. This transaction is forecasted to expand the technological smartness of Medtronic products through the integration of Mazor robotics’ guidance system platform, which is currently indicated for spine and brain surgeries. In the same year, Philips Healthcare announced it will be building upon its IntelliVue X3 transport monitor by creating a continuous record of patient monitoring, including data produced in the ICU, during transport and in the OR. The company has also engaged in numerous acquisitions over the years. For instance, in 2018, Philips Healthcare acquired Xhale Assurance, a company best known for its specialized pulse oximetry sensors, thereby increasing Philips Healthcare’s footprint in the pulse oximetry market.
Masimo entered into a partnership with Midmark in 2017, integrating its SET pulse oximetry platform with Midmark’s IQvitals Zone Bluetooth monitoring device. The objective of this deal is to increase both the accuracy and efficiency of clinical vital signs monitoring and is forecasted to further Masimo’s market presence in the patient-monitoring equipment market. GE Healthcare also participated in the acquisitional growth process, which was demonstrated in its 2017 purchase of Monica Healthcare. Monica Healthcare’s workhorse product is a fetal/maternal ECG electrode system that will further GE Healthcare’s presence in the total patient monitoring equipment market.