Healthcare has benefitted tremendously from the advancement of science and technology. Technology advancement enables providers to remotely monitor and advise patients regarding their health conditions and medications. Various scientific devices such as wearable sensors, implanted equipment, and other apps and technologies enable patients to be virtually monitored. This is widely known as remote patient monitoring, unlike the traditional method which was confined to the four walls of clinical environment.
WHAT IS REMOTE PATIENT MONITORING (RPM)?
Remote patient monitoring, often abbreviated as RPM is a branch of telehealth wherein patients or subjects of a clinical trial are virtually monitored by providers. Through RPM, providers can observe patient behavior, monitor activities, and analyze data gathered real time from hospitals or clinics no matter where the patients are located. Four major activities in remote monitoring are;
- Remote patient data collection
- Data transmission from patient location to healthcare providers
- Data analysis and evaluation
- Interpreting and communicating
- Insights and interventions as needed to patients
REMOTE PATIENT MONITORING TRENDS
Covid-19 pandemic propelled remote patient monitoring adoption by both consumers - providers and patients as they see this as the best alternative to readmissions and frequent physical visits. As per Research and Markets prediction, RPM is growing from $745.7 million in 2020 to more than $1.7 billion by 2027. According to a survey, 88% of healthcare providers have invested or are evaluating investments in RPM technologies.
Another reason that accelerated remote patient monitoring adoption is brought about by the United States’ Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) as it changed its reimbursement rules to make RPM claims more accessible.
COMMON REMOTE PATIENT MONITORING DEVICES
There are various monitoring devices through which patients are virtually monitored.
Blood pressure monitor measures heart rate and blood flow
- Glucometer – blood sugar monitoring
- Electrocardiography (ECG) devices
- Wearable heart-rate monitors
- Maternity care monitoring
- Pulse oximeter
HOW DOES REMOTE PATIENT MONITORING WORK?
Medical device companies offer various types of devices for monitoring different chronic diseases such as dementia and falls, diabetes, congestive heart failure, infertility and more. These devices attached to a patient’s body electronically transmit data and act as a medium of communication between patients and providers.
Patients are educated on how to use these devices and they themselves monitor and collect data about their health conditions at various intervals of the day. The data collected from patients are then transmitted to providers for further observation and analysis. Accordingly, providers access the data gathered by hospitals and clinics and advice patients on the next steps of treatment.
BENEFITS OF REMOTE MONITORING
Remote monitoring enables patients to be at home while allowing providers to access their data as required from the clinics and hospitals after a patient is released from care facility. Early detection of diseases and complications is possible as providers can monitor and analyze trends of physiological parameters without the patient having to visit care facility regularly. As a result, frequent emergency department visits, readmission rates, and hospital stays are reduced immensely. Therefore, patients get time for healing from the comfort of their homes as frequent hospital visit stress is avoided or reduced enormously.
ROLE OF IT SERVICE PROVIDERS IN REMOTE PATIENT MONITORING
The type of technology and device used in remote monitoring need to be easy and user-friendly for both patients and providers. Therefore, technology companies like HCL play an enormous role in making remote monitoring possible and enhance its adoption. The tool should be seamlessly integrated with the provider’s system. IT service providers offer technology, expertise, process and people which accelerates the remote monitoring process.
The type of technology and device used in remote monitoring need to be easy and user-friendly for both patients and providers. Therefore, technology companies play an enormous role in making remote monitoring possible and enhance its adoption.