Monday, September 09, 2013

White Paper: M2M Opportunities in Consumer Markets

In the healthcare industry, M2M connectivity offers a variety of benefits, from improved care to lower costs to more efficient services. Parks Associates believes that the aging-in-place market and home-based diagnostic & monitoring market represent the two biggest opportunities for carriers in the consumer M2M health space.

Two distinct trends are driving these opportunities:

1. People are living longer but not necessarily healthier. The aging population is a global phenomenon, and incidences of chronic conditions are high in most developed countries and on the rise in major developing nations. The consumer desire to age at home drives demand for intelligent sensor systems that enable at-home self-care.

2. Rising healthcare costs are pushing care delivery to cheaper alternatives that are also patient-centric and convenient to access. Use of telehealth solutions and services will consequently increase and help drive demand for connected medical devices for diagnosis and monitoring.

To drive growth in M2M health services, leading carriers have dedicated sales teams to this sector, targeting hospital CIOs, durable medical equipment (DME) departments of large health organizations, medical device manufacturers, and leaders of health service organizations ranging from hospital ICUs to assisted-living facilities.

Within the healthcare sector, Parks Associates divides M2M applications into two major categories:

1. Patient-centric M2M applications enable devices and services that directly benefit a patient’s health and safety needs

2. Business-centric M2M applications improve business functions for healthcare providers

Most carriers are pursuing opportunities in both categories, but overall they have allocated more sales resources to the patient-centric M2M market. Patient-centric M2M solutions have higher volume potential with better margins from high-value applications than business-centric solutions, but they also pose a higher liability risk and are subject to more regulatory red tape.

While not all solutions will include M2M connectivity, some market segments—like the personal emergency response systems (PERS) market—are leading the way. Most PERS product vendors and service providers currently offer, or will develop in the near future, cellular-connected PERS products. These providers are leveraging cellular capability in PERS base stations to widen the market to households that have ditched landlines. Additionally, integrating cellular modules inside the PERS panic button extends its range from in-home only to anywhere/anytime coverage.

From the article, "White Paper: M2M Opportunities in Consumer Markets" by Jennifer Kent

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