Remote monitoring for heart failure patients has always been one of the favorite topics for most researchers and clinicians, especially post-COVID-19 pandemic. Remote cardiac monitoring refers to the use of various technologies to collect and transmit data on the cardiac function and status of patients with heart failure, heart rate, intracardiac and pulmonary artery pressures, weight, and symptoms. The goal of remote monitoring is to detect any early signs of worsening heart failure and intervene before the patient requires hospitalization or experiences other adverse outcomes.
Remote monitoring can be classified into four categories:
- Implantable devices,
- Wearable devices,
- Non-wearable devices, and
- Mobile health applications.
Each category has its own advantages and limitations, such as cost, accuracy, convenience, compliance, and patient preference. Some examples of remote monitoring technologies are:
- Implantable Devices: Cardiac resynchronization therapy devices, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, implantable loop recorders, implantable hemodynamic monitors
- Wearable Devices: smartwatches, patches, belts, vests
- Non-Wearable Devices: blood pressure monitors, scales, telephones
- Mobile Health Applications: smartphone apps, web-based platforms
The evidence for the effectiveness of remote monitoring in improving clinical outcomes for heart failure patients is mixed. Some studies have shown that remote monitoring can reduce hospitalizations, mortality, and healthcare costs, while others have found no significant benefit or even harm. The optimal type, frequency, and duration of remote monitoring are still unclear and may depend on the individual patient’s characteristics and needs. More research is needed to determine the best practices and guidelines for remote monitoring of heart failure. The incidence of heart failure (HF) remains high and patients with HF are at risk for frequent hospitalizations. Remote monitoring technologies may provide early indications of HF decompensation and potentially allow for the optimization of therapy to prevent HF hospitalizations.
Patients use remote monitoring devices in different ways depending on the type of device and the instructions from their healthcare provider. Some general steps are:
These devices are inserted into the patient’s body during a minimally invasive procedure and are designed to last for a long time without needing a battery or replacement. The devices automatically transmit data to a receiver that is connected to the patient’s phone or computer. The patient does not need to do anything to activate the device or send the data, except to keep the receiver nearby and charged.
These devices are attached to the patient’s skin or clothing and measure various parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure, or oxygen saturation. The patient needs to wear the device as instructed by their health care provider and make sure it is comfortable and secure. The device may have a display that shows the readings or may send the data wirelessly to a receiver or a smartphone app. The patient may need to charge the device regularly or replace the battery when needed.
These devices are standalone units that the patient uses at home to measure their weight, blood pressure, or other parameters. The patient needs to follow the instructions on how to use the device correctly and record the readings manually or electronically. The device may have a memory function that stores the data or may send the data wirelessly to a receiver or a smartphone app. The patient may need to calibrate the device periodically or replace the battery when needed.
Mobile Health Applications
These are software programs that run on the patient’s smartphone, tablet, or computer and allow them to enter their symptoms, medications, or other information related to their heart failure. The patient needs to download the app from a trusted source and follow the instructions on how to set up their profile and preferences. The app may also connect with other remote monitoring devices or sensors to collect and display the data. The patient needs to update the app regularly and ensure that it has access to the internet
Some of the benefits of remote monitoring for heart failure patients are:
- More accurate adjustments in medications based on the patient’s clinical parameters and response to therapy
- Fewer emergency room visits and hospitalizations by detecting early signs of worsening heart failure and intervening before the patient requires acute care
- More time between in-office visits by reducing the need for routine device checks and follow-ups
- Improved quality of life and patient satisfaction by enhancing self-care and communication with the clinical team
- Reduced health care costs by avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations and resource utilization
- Increased access to care for patients who live in remote areas or have mobility issues
How does remote cardiac monitoring helps in better monitoring of patients?
In case of heart failures or otherwise, Remote Cardiac Monitoring provides a more holistic view of a patient’s health over time
Via remote patient monitoring, practitioners gain a comprehensive understanding of a patient’s health condition long-term health performance data, leading to:
- More accurate adjustments in medications
- Fewer emergency room visits
- More time between in-office visits
- Consistent monitoring of biometric data such as medication adherence, weight management, blood pressure control, and physical activity provides organizations with the ability to detect when patients deviate from the expected course in real-time.
It also Strengthens Relationships With And Improves The Patient Experience
Two-way communication is a key aspect of the patient-provider relationship. Despite its virtual nature, remote patient monitoring is a high-touch patient engagement strategy that provides more opportunities for meaningful dialogue between the care team and the patient, thus strengthening the relationship and improving patient satisfaction and loyalty. Remote monitoring offers patients a level of comfort that their clinician is constantly watching over them.
Empowers Patients To Better Manage Their Health in a better possible way.
Remote patient monitoring offers a way for patients and their caregivers to manage health issues and monitor chronic conditions from home easily. Patients take a more active role in overseeing their health by tracking symptoms, medications, and appointments. Through digital health monitoring devices, RPM helps closely monitor a range of symptoms and illness related to cardiac issues.
Why should patients with heart failures or problems consider remote monitoring?
Heart failure patients should take remote monitoring because it can help them manage their condition better and improve their outcomes. Remote monitoring can provide them with:
- Timely feedback on their cardiac function and status, which can help them adjust their medications, lifestyle, and self-care accordingly.
- Early detection of worsening heart failure, which can help them seek medical attention before they develop complications or need hospitalization.
- Enhanced communication with their health care provider, who can monitor their data remotely and provide them with guidance and support.
- Increased confidence and empowerment in managing their heart failure, which can improve their quality of life and satisfaction.
- However, remote monitoring is not a substitute for regular in-person visits with their health care provider or for seeking emergency care when needed. Remote monitoring is a tool that can complement their existing care plan and help them achieve their treatment goals.
For more information on remote cardiac monitoring devices, feel free to contact Octagos Health at (281) 769-8733. You can also drop by and visit us in person at 13325 Hargrave Rd Suite 281, Houston, TX 77070. We are located on the first floor of the Hargrave Plaza.