In This Report
Wireless and supporting technologies have recently reached the stage of development where they enable the creation of meaningful solutions to important problems that are at the core of the life sciences. Useful devices, applications and systems are reaching the market, business models are evolving and successful businesses are emerging at the convergence of wireless technology and the life sciences.
Notwithstanding the promise of the emerging wireless life sciences sector, the business sponsors of these services must successfully manage the key challenges in the sector:
- Who pays - consumers or insurers?
- For reimbursable devices and applications - establishing the basis for Medicare and insurance coverage.
- Regulatory requirements (including FDA and FCC).
- For cellular applications, carriers' perceived liability risks and "walled gardens."
- The difficulty of designing simple user interfaces for highly engineered medical devices.
- The complexity of disparate healthcare IT systems and inherent conservatism of physicians and patients in respect to adopting new approaches to health services.
Because they involve consumer use, Telemedicine 2.0 solutions entail special challenges, including:
- Devices must be patient-friendly with simple controls and interfaces.
- Devices must be unobtrusive for patients, easily hidden, non-obvious and protective of patients' privacy.
- Efficacy will increasingly depend on behavior modification and consistent use, so interactions must be simple, engaging and even entertaining for patients.
- Services must be ubiquitous while at the same time invisible to the user (like electricity is today)
- Most solutions will involve complex systems integration, including:
- enabling communications and technologies;
- special devices;
- data management and complex algorithms; and
- customer relationship software to manage the needs of the patients, providers and payors using or sponsoring the solution.
Despite these challenges, we believe the market for Wireless Health products and services will grow very rapidly over the next few years. Enterprise-oriented investments are already significant. We will see an explosion of Telemedicine 2.0 products and services as devices now in development and testing are brought to the market.