Hospitals are typically the epicenters of medical progress and development. Throughout history as medical technology and procedures advanced, the locus of medical care necessarily moved from the home supervised by a travelling doctor to medical centers teeming with a variety of healthcare professionals. However, technology has brought us full circle as advancements allow for some aspects of healthcare to move back into the home.
Home healthcare refers to the wide range of medical products such as heart rate monitors, blood glucose level indicators, blood pressure monitors, and even on the horizon, home dialysis machines. Services include palliative and hospice care.
Analysts at Sandler Research predict the Global Home Healthcare Market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.85% between 2016-2020. The research group produced the report based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. Key vendors in the home healthcare market researched in the analysis include Johnson & Johnson, Philips, and Omron Healthcare.
The rising costs of medical care, in part, attracts patients to home healthcare. In the U.S. during the past decade, the cost of healthcare has increased faster than the overall inflation rate. According to the November 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, healthcare costs have risen primarily due to the increased cost of drugs, medical devices, and hospital care. The Affordable Care Act has caused several of these prices to increase with legislation like the 2.3% medical device tax included in the bill. Generally, the more healthcare patients can provide for themselves at home, the more money that can be saved in medical bills.
Take for example a patient with Type II Diabetes. The increasing accuracy of blood glucose level indicators means that the patient can go to see the physician less often. The patient can receive immediate results and be aware of arising problems sooner than if he or she had to receive information through a doctor’s office. Additionally, the immediacy of results helps catch problems early, which ultimately reduces the cost of care.
Not only does the growth of the home healthcare industry bode well for patients, but also those seeking jobs in healthcare. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment in the home healthcare industry almost doubled between 2000 and 2009.
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