Telehealth and remote patient monitoring using EHR – How digital technology transforming?

There is no doubt that telehealth could potentially increase access to healthcare, decrease travel and improve continuity. People often make mistakes by considering telehealth as a replacement of in-office visits. In other words, in-office visits are the best form of care, but using telehealth is a better alternative than patients not seeing a doctor, at all. Conversely, considering all positive side of telehealth, the biggest is the lack of standardized payment methods. However, healthcare providers are appreciating the outcome of ongoing technological progress by having fewer hospital re-admissions, patient conveniences, better care outcomes, and a more profitable practice. Also, Remote Patient Monitoring systems are an integral part of telehealth implementation.

Understand The Terminology

It is important to understand the deference between Telehealth and RPM. Telehealth is an interactive session in which a health care provider provides clinical services to the patient via electronic medium instead of patient being physically present in the facility. Whereas Remote patient monitoring refers to the technology used to continually assess a patient’s health status.

Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring using EHR

Scope and use of Technology

For both provider and patient, it requires using high quality equipment. As telemedicine appointments are becoming popular; video conferencing protocol can be a challenge to many physicians. How one can translate the empathy and trust of a healthcare provider on the screen? It often becomes challenging for the patient during the first tele visit.

RPM tools such as peripherals, clinical-grade monitors, and other software are essential in keeping tabs on chronic conditions in a cost-effective way.  This is a key component of telehealth.

Nowadays, evolving digital technology provides RPM tools with the integrated access of ancillary sensors such as Stethoscope (for interactive telemedicine), Temperature Probe, Blood Pressure Cuff, Weight Scale, Heart Rate, Peak Flow, Glucometer, Pulse Oximeter, Pulse Waveform, Spirometer, EKG/ECG, High-Definition Still Camera, High-Definition Video Camera, and many more.

Conclusion

RPM Tools having  biometric monitoring and sensors are being used by tech-friendly patients.  This will create an environment where clinical grade RPM will develop incrementally. And, most of these tools offer their data access to initiate interoperability with EHR system.


About the Author:

Shripal received MBA degree in MIS from the Wilmington University. With more than a decade of experience, he has been steering iPatientCare to success resulting into truly SaaS based integrated suite of products utilizing web based and on premise servers.  He has been a proponent of designing the software architecture that conceals some of the exceptionally complex set of engineering concepts.  He has also worked with leading IT innovators, such as, IBM.

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