Sunday, November 11, 2007

RPM or Remote Patient Monitoring

Microsoft has launched it's Health Vault application.

With this announcement comes a large list of positive and negative reactions in the marketplace.  The most positive aspects are the "commodization" and accessibility of these devices to consumers at affordable prices.


RPM data can and should enter the consumer electronics mainstream.  In addition, RPM data should be viewed as just one more type of medical data, similar to lab data, pharmacy data, physician notes, etc., that is equally plug and play.

But...There are Tradeoffs

Depending on whether you are a user or a seller of RPM, you probably reacted differently when reading Bill Crounse's casual reference to devices and services becoming "commoditized".  Regardless of your reaction, he's right.  HV will hasten the already occurring commoditization of RPM devices.

When the RPM market started, many of the devices were priced in the $6-8 K range.  Today prices have dropped to $1-2 K, and will go lower. 

We have all heard stories where RPM devices eventually would become consumer purchases made at Best Buy and Circuit City, and that prices would be in the range of other consumer technology purchases.  That day will arrive in 2008 when Continua Alliance compliant offerings begin hitting the street.

The RPM market is moving from

  • High unit prices rooted in the industry's early focus on medical device markets and business models
  • Proprietary devices, proprietary IT,  non-interoperable data
  • Low unit volume, moderate margins per unit
  • Competition based on the vendor lock-in through high changing costs


  • Low unit prices as the technology evolves toward consumer markets and consumer business models
  • Intereroperable devices, common IT platforms, and interoperable data
  • High unit volume, low margins per unit
  • Competition based on value and service

Where exactly commoditization and HV come together is not clear. The efforts of Continua will bring to market multi vendor interoperability, true plug and play connectivity. Microsoft can deliver plug and play interoperability with your personal computer, but little else.


What do you think?

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