At the end of 2018, around 7.8 million people were using connected care solutions in Europe and by 2024, this figure is set to rise to 17.3 million. This growth could create new opportunities for operators.
These figures are according to a new research report from the IoT analyst firm, Berg Insight.
Connected care solutions include traditional telecare as well as next-generation telecare and telehealth solutions. Traditional telecare is the largest and most mature of these three market segments, but its growth rate is set to be overtaken by next-generation telecare and telehealth market sectors, the research finds.
Berg Insight expects that traditional telecare will be surpassed by next-generation telecare as the largest segment with a forecasted 8.3 million users by 2024. Traditional telecare will follow with 6.2 million users, and telehealth with 5.6 million users at the end of the forecast period.
While the traditional telecare equipment market in Europe is highly consolidated, the next-generation telecare market is fragmented, the analysis finds. In addition to leading telecare equipment vendors, new specialist players are entering the market.
Berg Insight also notes that the European connected care industry is facing major changes that will reshape the competitive environment for solution vendors and service providers during the coming years. "One of the main developments is the ongoing digitalisation of telephone networks around Europe. Large-scale replacements of telecare equipment will be needed as analogue devices do not function reliably on digitalised networks," the analysis says.
At the same time, new solutions which take care to "the next level" have started to appear. These include better-designed next-generation telecare systems with new functions and integrated solutions that enable a combined delivery of both telecare and telehealth services.
According to Ericsson’s 5G Business Potential report, the healthcare sector will be a $76 billion (€67.7 billion) revenue opportunity for telcos by 2026. Officials across the healthcare sector have also placed telcos at the top of the list when it comes to partnerships, above app developers and pharmaceutical companies.
Opportunities include precision medicine, monitoring applications, telemetry, virtual reality for surgery, real-time health data, electronic health records, enabling medical services drones and more.