After holding out as the last industry yet to feel the rapid impact of digitization, healthcare’s digital transformation is finally underway—largely accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Thirty million US patients will use RPM tools by 2024.  - Insider Intelligence
Thirty million US patients will use RPM tools by 2024. Insider Intelligence

One of the tools US health systems and hospitals are turning to improved outcomes and reduced costs is remote patient monitoring (RPM) technology. This type of patient care extends the reach of physicians, enables a constant relationship between patients and caregivers, and offers providers a continuous stream of real-time health data.

And now, RPM devices are becoming smarter and more affordable. That’s presenting device manufacturers that traditionally targeted hospitals and clinics with new potential revenue channels as they begin offering their services to consumers.

What is remote patient monitoring (RPM)?

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a healthcare delivery method that uses technology to monitor patient health outside of a traditional clinical setting. RPM refers to the specific technology used to electronically transmit information between patients and physicians, and it is just one delivery system within the broader telemedicine industry.

What are remote patient monitoring devices?

Digital blood pressure monitors allow patients to seamlessly share their health data with physicians.  - Amazon
Digital blood pressure monitors allow patients to seamlessly share their health data with physicians. Amazon

Common examples of remote health monitoring devices include continuous glucose monitors that remind diabetes patients to take their insulin, while allowing their physician to monitor the disease, digital blood pressure monitors that enable patients to remotely send physicians their blood pressure and blood oxygen levels.

According to Research and Markets, the Global RPM systems market is projected to be worth over $1.7 billion by 2027, up nearly 128% from the opportunity the market currently represents.

How does a remote patient monitoring system work?

Unlike other telehealth delivery methods, RPM services do not require interactive audio-video and virtual visits, nor must patients be located in rural areas. They simply require technology that collects and interprets physiologic data. Medicare reimburses RPM services just like in-person clinical services with no additional requirements regarding use or originating site of care. Additionally, RPM systems hold huge potential for generating savings by preventing more severe and costly health outcomes from taking root.

And the global RPM systems market is projected to be worth over $1.7 billion by 2027, up nearly 128% from the $745.7 million opportunity the market currently represents, according to Research and Markets. 

Top remote patient monitoring companies

As providers increasingly turn to RPM technology to improve patient outcomes, limit costs, and cut down on using more expensive services, healthcare industry newcomers and legacy players alike are vying for a piece of this growing market.

Medical device company Dexcom sells continuous glucose monitors. - Dexcom
Medical device company Dexcom sells continuous glucose monitors. Dexcom

Some of the top RPM solution providers include:

  • Dexcom
  • Honeywell Life Sciences
  • Medtronic
  • Philips Healthcare
  • ResMed
  • Senseonics

RPM market trends & statistics

Insider Intelligence estimates 30 million US patients, or 11.2% of the population, will use RPM tools by 2024—marking 28.2% growth from 23.4 million patients in 2020.

Providers using RPM-enabled home health monitoring systems and other telehealth delivery methods are already reducing hospital readmission penalties. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, for example, reduced the risk of hospital readmissions by 76% — and held patient satisfaction scores over 90% — by equipping patients with tablets and RPM equipment.

Seniors are driving positive ROI from RPM technology and home-based care, largely due to the cohort’s high incidence of multiple chronic diseases. A KLAS Research report surveying 25 healthcare organizations found 38% of healthcare organizations running RPM programs focused on chronic care management reported reduced admissions, while 17% cited cost reductions.

The next trend in RPM technology is miniaturization. Device makers are making their solutions smaller and less invasive while partnering with new players to expand their market share. For example, Dexcom, has partnered with Alphabet’s life sciences unit, Verily, on a new implantable diabetes sensor that transmits health data to monitoring devices or smartphones via Bluetooth.