Dr. Ashutosh Mundkur, VP of Sales & Marketing, Murata Vios

Dr. Mundkur comes with extensive and diverse experience spanning over 26 years in multinational Medical Devices companies of repute. He has worked in multiple roles across the entire gamut of the product value chain such as Product development, Quality Assurance, Supplier management, Manufacturing operations, procurement, product management, business strategies, domestic and international sales, and marketing. Dr. Mundkur is with Murata Vios since 2017. He holds a Doctorate in Genetic Engineering from Madhurai Kamaraj University.

 

The advancement of Digital Healthcare especially during the pandemic has made Remote Monitoring Technology an indispensable part of the healthcare sector.

Remote monitoring has proven to be a huge advantage during the pandemic and this will continue to flourish in the future. Remote monitoring of patients irrespective of geography that enables access to a larger population will be the key in this technology adoption.

Few studies suggest that the adoption of remote monitoring tools and tele-visits nearly doubled from 2016 to 2019. According to an Intelligence Study, the global Remote Patient Monitoring Market was valued at USD 975.0 million in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 3,244.9 million by 2027, with a CAGR of 18.9%, during the forecast period.

Witnessing the current trend in the healthcare sector and the various study reports which suggest an upward demand for Remote Monitoring technology it might be safe to say that adoption of the devices will definitely see an upward trajectory in the coming future, even after the pandemic ends.

Moving forward, Remote Monitoring Devices will diversify in their uses and product variety. Each type of device will cater to a certain scenario or a use case. There are various use cases for a remote monitoring device such as ICU Monitoring, Ambulatory Monitoring, Precautionary Monitoring, HDU Monitoring, Geriatric Monitoring, Paediatric Monitoring, etc. The technology needs to be different for each type of scenario and hence the device will need to exhibit different features for each of them. We cannot afford to approach Remote Monitoring Devices with a ‘one size fits all philosophy. This will lead to various complications and will take away the essence from Remote Monitoring Devices.

Depending on the purpose of monitoring the devices, the technology or features will differ. In the coming days, the market will witness an upward surge in the types of Remote Monitoring devices than what we presently have. India, being the hub of software technology should be able to harness this technology to its advantage.

Digital Health Analytics is another important aspect of Patient Monitoring that will gain prominence. Digital Health Analytics is the use of data and insights to measure a patient’s health and take preventive measures so that a health condition does not turn severe. Additionally, it also enhances a patient’s experience. This aspect will prove to be crucial in devices moving forward. There have been recorded instances when Remote Monitoring Devices were used to take preventive measures and in turn, helped the situation from becoming a critical one.

However, Remote Monitoring Devices or the technology cannot evolve independently. There are multiple factors that will play an impactful role for it to be widely adopted.

Remote monitoring technology is dependent on IT architecture and IT infrastructure at the caregiver and caretaker’s location. There is a substantial IT infrastructure cost that is involved to enable remote monitoring technology. In a price-sensitive market such as India, we need to find innovative ways to make this economical and accessible to the mass.

Currently, remote monitoring devices are not covered under any Health Insurance Scheme and this has time and again proved to be a roadblock for it to be widely accepted by our population. In the long run, remote monitoring devices saves cost both for the hospital as well as the patients. However, since this is not covered under our Insurance scheme at present, the care providers do not readily suggest it to their patients. Though healthcare providers are convinced about the advantages they are skeptical of recommending it to the patients due to the price factor. This plays a prominent role and patients are extremely hesitant to make payments out of their pockets for Remote Monitoring Devices. They do not see the immediate advantage of this technology. Their apprehension is justifiable from an economic standpoint. However, if we wish to enhance care it becomes essential that Remote Monitoring Devices fall within the fulcrum of Insurance Coverage.

Another foreseeable trend which we would witness in the future is that the healthcare sector will move from conventional evidence-based practice to evidence-based remote healthcare. At present, the healthcare sector practices evidence-based care, which is a systematic approach to medicine in which doctors and other health care professionals use the best available scientific evidence from clinical data to help make decisions about the care of individual patients. However, Remote Monitoring Devices will take this a notch higher and the trend will slowly shift towards evidence-based remote healthcare, wherein healthcare practitioners will gather clinical evidence remotely and also suggest the next course of action in a remote environment. Each of the specialists may be located in a geographically different location yet the care to the patient can be offered remotely. This is where the aspect of Digital Health Analytics will play an impactful role. The quality of healthcare will get better. This will be true in a country like India where the best quality healthcare is not available in remote areas. We already are seeing this trend partially in terms of teleconsultations, but, the remote monitoring devices will help in getting even the clinical data while the patient is at home or at a remote location away from the hospital. This will also make the end-user i.e the patients more independent and enable them to keep a track of their health without having to physically visit a hospital or a doctor at all times.

Adoption of Remote Monitoring Devices will be a win-win situation both for the care providers and the patients. It will also be an economically viable option to the hospital management as they will be able to swiftly free beds to cater to critically ill patients without having to do away with the not so critically ill patients. However, the entire ecosystem needs to work in tandem to make this a success.

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