Bluetooth, Ant+ Self-Monitoring to Grow Faster Than Managed Telehealth:

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Bluetooth and Ant+ use will grow faster among consumers than managed telehealth services, according to new findings from IMS Research.


Devices such as the latest Apple iPad incorporate Bluetooth low-energy technology, allowing people to track data such as heart rate, speed and elevation during a workout. They can transmit info from glucometers and fitness sensors to the iPad, which sends the data to a cloud platform like HealthVault or Qualcomm 2net.


Ant+ is ultralow-power 2.4GHz wireless technology that connects sensors on fitness or medical devices to applications on smartphones.


IMS Research announced its findings on May 22 and produced a report, “Wireless Opportunities in Health and Wellness Monitoring—2012 Edition,” on the data in March.


During the next five years, more than 50 million wireless health monitoring devices will ship for consumer monitoring applications, according to IMS.

In addition, consumer-purchased medical devices such as glucometers and fitness sensors will encompass at least 80 percent of wireless-enabled consumer medical devices by 2016, the firm reported. Personal health portals such as Microsoft HealthVault allow consumers to monitor and compile data from these devices themselves. Complete systems such as Entra Health Systems’ MyGlucoHealth Network offer a Bluetooth glucometer as well as a cloud portal.


Managed telehealth involves sending patient data to cloud platforms monitored by medical professionals and holding online consultations with physicians. The U.S. Veteran’s Health Administration has deployed managed telehealth technology to about 50,000 patients, IMS reported. The VA uses American Well’s Online Care platform, which consists of two-way video, secure text chat or voice sessions.


Despite consumer self-monitoring outpacing managed telehealth, IMS still projects these enterprise services to grow. The growth rate for use of wireless devices in managed telehealth platforms will increase from 5 percent a year in 2011 to 20 percent a year by 2016, according to IMS.

Managed telehealth systems are behind consumer wireless technology due to the unwillingness of some health providers to move past trials.

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