Telehomecare changes market trends in the infusion pump business

Mountain View 22 June 1998 The international marketing and consulting company Frost & Sullivan specializes in market trends, measurements and strategies for the health care industry. Recently, this market research firm issued a study on the current infusion pump market scene in the United States, to investigate the impact of both the overall cost reduction tendencies in health care and the introduction of innovative technologies and alternate care environments, on the increasing success of infusion pumps' sales. Telemedical practices nowadays enable patients to enjoy the unequalled freedom of staying at home or at work without having to lack the indispensable care they need.

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The international marketing and consulting company Frost & Sullivan specializes in market trends, measurements and strategies for the health care industry. Recently, this market research firm issued a study on the current infusion pump market scene in the United States, to investigate the impact of both the overall cost reduction tendencies in health care and the introduction of innovative technologies and alternate care environments, on the increasing success of infusion pumps' sales. Telemedical practices nowadays enable patients to enjoy the unequalled freedom of staying at home or at work without having to lack the indispensable care they need.

Last year, the total turnover for infusion pumps in the United States amounted to approximately $586.4 million and most segments show equal growth through the years to come. Major cause for the positive results constitutes the shift from hospital care to telehomecare. However, this development forces the health care participants to change their attitude towards the level of responsibility which is expected from them. The manufacturers have to educate the end-user to perform individual control of the device, in order to guarantee the optimum functionality of their product.

At present, it is possible indeed to connect a patient's monitor to a hospital computer but this requires sufficient discipline from the patient to regularly check his body functions and acquire confidence in the prompt reaction of care takers whenever their intervention is needed, according to Laurence Ravat, who is medical analyst at Frost & Sullivan. Those suppliers offering high quality training and technical support are bound to generate more sales than their competitors.

Although products which present an added value tend to be more attractive to the consumer, companies should never lose sight of the bottom line. Since the health care sector increasingly concentrates on cost effectiveness, the market equally turns away from mid-priced technologies for simple medical procedures and offers less expensive, low-end devices, except in complex and particular cases, when specialized equipment is needed.

Two remarkable trends are typical for the whole infusion pump business: on the one hand, the growing concentration of manufacturers, on the other, the creation of a range of small competitors. The smaller companies display the necessary flexibility to focus on niche markets, thus responding more quickly to the occurring changes than the bigger ones. The Frost & Sullivan study however has detected the beginning of a new concentration tendency, inviting to further beneficial alliances between suppliers. The researchers' precise identification of industrial challenges supports the market players in choosing the right service strategy towards the clients.


Leslie Versweyveld

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