The practice of remotely monitoring patients’ medical and other health data and electronically transmitting such data to healthcare professionals for evaluation is known as remote patient monitoring. RPM initiatives may assist in keeping people healthy, allow older and handicapped people to live at home longer, and prevent people from joining nursing institutions. RPM can also assist in enhancing the quality of life and keeping expenses under control by reducing the number of hospitalisations, readmissions, and lengths of stay.
What Is Remote Patient Monitoring?
The practice of remote patient monitoring enables patients to collect and transmit patient-generated health data using mobile medical equipment and technology. RPM programs can be used to gather common physiological data, such as vital signs, weight, blood pressure, and heart rate. Patient data is collected and delivered to a doctor’s office using a specialized telehealth computer or software application that may be downloaded and installed on a computer, smartphone, or tablet.
RPM often benefits patients who need chronic, post-discharge, or geriatric care. Linking high-risk patients with remote monitoring can warn healthcare organizations about potential health problems or keep track of patient information between visits.
How Does Remote Patient Health Monitoring Work?
RPM procedures can vary based on the gadget being utilized or the state being monitored. The first is a wirelessly enabled sensor that can record data and measure particular physiological markers. Additionally, the storage must have a connection point for databases for healthcare providers and extra sensors. Applications often give users a user interface to track or analyze data and show recommended treatments.
The appropriate site receives and stores the data gathered by RPM devices in a relational database. When a healthcare professional reviews the data or notices a problem that necessitates the patient’s visit, the gadget may notify patients.
Examples Of Remote Monitoring In The Medical Industry:
RPM technology can include everything from mobile medical equipment to websites that let users enter their data. Several instances include:
- Glucose meters
- Blood pressure or heart rate monitoring
- Monitors for continuous surveillance
- Remote monitoring and treatment for implanted cardiac devices
- Remote monitoring and treatment for infertility
- Drug abuse tracking
- Tracking diet or calorie intake
Different Remote Health Monitor Devices:
Blood pressure monitor
The advantages of blood pressure monitors include better control of hypertension. Organizations are increasingly using blood pressure monitors, typically wrist cuffs worn by patients. Remote cardiac monitoring can significantly lower patient blood pressure compared to standard care and self-monitoring alone. Practitioners can continuously monitor and treat hypertension/high blood pressure using remote blood pressure monitors.
The fact that obesity-related illnesses might include major health problems like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of curable cancer further complicates the situation. For people with congestive heart failure, a sudden weight gain of even a few pounds could be a sign that the condition is getting worse and necessitate action from healthcare professionals.
Blood glucose monitor
Blood glucose levels must always be closely monitored for diabetics to ensure their safety. Monitoring blood glucose levels is one of the most useful remote patient monitoring applications, and diabetes sufferers are among those who are most aware of digital health issues. A remote monitor can be the difference between life and death because patients frequently do not notice specific symptoms linked with diabetes until they encounter hyperglycemia (glucose level too high) or hypoglycemia (glucose level too low).
The spirometer may be the least popular example of a remote patient monitoring tool. Lung function is assessed by spirometry, sometimes referred to as pulmonary function testing. A spirometer explicitly measures the amount and/or flow of air a person can inhale or exhale. Spirometry testing is crucial for identifying lung disorders and evaluating and keeping track of ailments, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Benefits Of Remote Patient Monitoring:
- Reduced risk of disease transmission: Remote patient monitoring is frequently required for COVID-19 patients. For patients who test positive for COVID-19, home-based monitoring for symptom escalation can assist in lowering the risk of transmission and can help target the prompt delivery of hospital-based therapy, should the need arise.
- Free up hospital resources: Hospitals in the United States and many other nations are under tremendous strain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ability to remotely monitor patients at home frees up the limited resources for the most urgent cases due to staffing and bed shortages in hospitals.
- Faster access to patient data: Implantable devices, biometric sensors, pulse oximeters, blood pressure cuffs, glucometers, and other tools fall under this category. These gadgets and the data they produce can aid in accelerating diagnoses and facilitating prompt modifications to treatment plans.
- Improved patient outcomes: Numerous studies have demonstrated that patients who use remote patient monitoring solutions have a lower risk of mortality and rehospitalization across a range of medical use cases, including implanted cardiac defibrillators.
- Cost Savings: As healthcare expenditures for consumers and providers continue to climb, remote patient monitoring systems deliver a significant ROI in addition to better patient outcomes. Thanks to new CPT codes for reimbursement, the CMS recognizes these advantages and makes remote patient monitoring even more affordable.
Future of Remote Patient Monitoring Services:
With the advantages of RPM, it is quite easy to understand why remote patient monitoring is on the rise. The demand for digital healthcare will persist for years, even after the health crisis is over. It is possible to virtualize the present $250 million in healthcare spending to reduce expenses. Nevertheless, the epidemic has made a concerted effort to keep up with the current trend while also eradicating several archaic medical practices. The popularity of health gadgets, their expanding availability, and patients’ willingness to record and share information will all dramatically increase remote patient monitoring in the coming years. It aids healthcare professionals in managing the inconvenience of outpatient appointments.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is remote patient monitoring cost-effective?
Yes, in some cases, remote patient monitoring is considered to be cost-effective as it helps the individual to understand his/her condition while sitting at home only. This helps to avoid unnecessary costs for the health care provider.
Do remote monitoring devices come with a warranty or insurance?
Yes, many medical insurances cover remote monitoring devices. However, even if insurance does not cover it, you always get a minimum one-year warranty on these devices.
What are some disadvantages of remote patient monitoring (RPM)?
- RPM devices may need an internet connection to transmit data automatically in real-time. Accessibility problems may arise due to a lack of reliable internet connectivity.
- Suppliers need to embrace new software and technology or invest in cloud storage options.
- Inappropriate use of devices can compromise the accuracy of patient data acquired.