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Can smart hospital beds replace patient monitors?

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | April 04, 2017
Medical Devices Patient Monitors
From the April 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

The U.S. market
The U.S. hospital bed market was worth $1.2 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow at an annualized rate of 2.8 percent and reach $1.4 billion by 2021, according to an IBISWorld report published in February. Stryker makes up 15.5 percent of the market and Hill-Rom accounts for 52.2 percent. The market is increasingly demanding bariatric beds. More than one in three adults in the U.S. are considered to be obese, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Hill-Rom’s most popular bed for obese patients is the Compella Bariatric Bed, which can support up to 1,000 pounds. Johnson has noticed that hospitals are ramping up bariatric services and a popular option is to rent the beds.

“You might not have the need for a lot of these bariatric beds, but when you need them, it’s an urgent [situation], or you may [only] need it for a week or two,” he adds. Other factors driving the market are the rising elderly population and incentives from health insurance providers to use at-home hospital beds to lower the rate of hospitalization. Most hospital beds in the U.S. have some form of smart bed technology, according to MD Buyline.

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It can range from basic alarm capabilities to advanced integration with the EMR and mobile devices. Since hospitals have made a significant investment in EMRs, many are now looking to incorporate medical device data to enhance their EMRs. “If the trend over the last three years is an indicator of the future, we will continue to see this technology become adopted by more hospitals, similar to the way bed exit and local bed status monitoring options became standards in the past,” says Stryker’s Clark.

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