On September 6th, Bosch announced a tie up with Remedy Health Media [TTA 10 Sep] “to launch remote patient monitoring products designed for tablets and smartphones”, which suggested that it would not be long before they stopped selling their purpose-built telehealth hardware.
Now TTA has heard from a reliable source that they are telling their customer organisations that they are going to withdraw the Health Buddy as tablet/mobile based systems appear to be the way things are going for health monitoring. They will, of course, be honouring all existing telehealth contracts.
They will also to continue to offer telecare products. However, surprisingly, it has been reported that they have said they will not be pursuing telehealth in the UK for the foreseeable future. Given their commitment now to produce a software solution for telehealth, the size of the UK telehealth market and Bosch’s presence here, one wonders how long they can afford to stay away though?
It is interesting to reflect that only this time last year the Surrey telehealth tender, believed to be the first in the UK that required the use of software sitting on standard smartphone and tablet hardware, was being heavily criticised by some suppliers for excluding purpose-built telehealth hardware. One wonders how long the other remaining suppliers of such hardware can continue?
One wonders too, how long it will be before one of the other requirements of that tender – the ability to download telehealth as an app, or access it via browser, the patient equivalent of BYOD that is already offered by some – will become the norm.
Update 30 September 2013: We are pleased to append the following statement from Bill Broderick, Acting Divisional Head of Bosch Healthcare in the UK, clarifying Bosch’s position re the UK market:
1. Bosch Healthcare is not exiting the UK market. Telecare is business as usual and we will continue to sell our entire line of telecare products in the foreseeable future. We have placed all new telehealth activities on hold for now as we spend the next few months re-evaluating the business strategy based on current market dynamics in the UK.
2. We are not exiting the Health Buddy device business. We will continue to offer Health Buddys to patients who need them. The Remedy partnership press release announced an expansion of our patient interface portfolio to more mobile and internet-based solutions, not a replacement of existing Health Buddy devices.