Since the last decade, Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) has experienced a trail run, but decade’s worth of research made this emerging technology enter the implementation phase in the year 2020. It is noteworthy that the push and adoption of RPM technology largely took off due to the benefits it promises to the healthcare environment.
Currently 88 % of hospitals are investing or considering to invest in remote patient monitoring systems, and according to Consumer Technology Association (CTA), 68 percent of healthcare organizations strongly wish to use remote patient monitoring solutions to help providers manage the health of high-risk patients, including those who are considered unstable and at-risk for hospital re-admissions or unexpected emergency department visits.
How Remote Patient Monitoring Works?
While remote patient monitoring can’t replace in-person care entirely, but it can surely ease the burden placed on both providers and patients. Remote Patient Monitoring Technology gives patients much greater involvement in the management of their health, eliminating nursing and hospitalization costs.
The remote patient monitoring system is a healthcare delivery method that uses technology to monitor patient health outside of a traditional clinical setting. It collects biometric data (such as heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and sleep quality) from a patient’s location, then analyzes and interprets that data, and transmits it to the caretaker at another location. RPM can undertake the same observations of a patient as a nurse at the bedside, so the unnecessary re-admissions and appointments can be prevented.
Integrated remote patient monitoring solutions with modern healthcare technology prove to be clinically effective symptom management tools and allow risk-bearing organizations to remotely monitor patients with chronic conditions to help reduce costs & readmission, improve care quality, and increase access to care for patients.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Technologies
Different RPM solutions have different methods, they simply require technology that collects and interpret biometric & physiological data.
Remote Patient Monitoring with Wearables & Mobile Devices
- Wearable Fitness Tracker: The wristbands equipped with sensors to keep track of the user’s physical activity and heart rate. Having fitness and health data transferred from a wearable fitness tracker directly to the patient’s health record helps physicians:
- Better monitor patients remotely
- Expand the reach of patient care to rural areas
- Improve the amount of data physicians receive
- Smart health watch: Smart-watch once only used to count steps and tell time, but now it has transformed into an advanced healthcare tool. It now also enables users to:
- Read notifications
- Send simple messages and make phone calls
- Monitor heart rate count
- Health tracking
- Sleep tracking
- Activity tracking and many more
- Wearable ECG Monitor: The ECG monitor is able to measure an electrocardiogram and transmit the readings to the healthcare provider and integrate the data into the patient’s records. Wearable ECG monitor also tracks atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), distance, and elevation which further helps in preventive care.
- Wearable Blood Pressure Monitor: BP Monitor can measure blood pressure and daily activity – like steps taken, distance traveled, and calories burned. It also has the ability to advise how personal habits affect blood pressure.
- Patch- Biosensors: Wearable biosensor is a self-adhesive patch, that collects data on movement, heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature. The patch streams data to the patient’s smartphone and then transmits it to the healthcare provider via a suitable platform.
The advancement and growing demands of these wearable and mobile technology devices in consumers have highly influenced the medical industry, including insurers, providers, and tech companies.
Wearable and mobile technology devices are designed to collect a vast array of health & physiological data, and sleep & activity data, using advanced analytics to monitor patients at their location. Modern solutions built into wearables technology connects with smartphone applications to transmit collected health data (such as heart rate, balance and sleep patterns) directly to the remote monitoring platform or healthcare provider, rather than expecting patients to take their own vitals and enter that data into the platform or visit the healthcare provider for the same.
Not only is it easier than ever for patients to collect health data, but it’s also easier for providers to get real-time patient’s health information and act on it, thereby reducing readmissions and lowering healthcare costs.
Future trends for Remote Patient Monitoring Technology
The remote healthcare technology is surging, while the next trend in RPM technology is miniaturization, technology builders are making their solutions smarter and less invasive. It will put more wearable technology in the hands of consumers.
This upward trend in wearable RPM technology will educate & influence providers, consumers, and insurers. Because, when patients are empowered with health data and are connected to their care providers, it will enable the providers as well as caregivers to intervene patients before minor problems turn into major ones.
Many RPM Technology providers are helping caretakers with RPM solutions designs that can be easily & securely integrated within their Electronic Health Records. That helps caretakers to view data and insights inside EHR, alongside other patient’s health information.
Study shows that patients are eager to adopt RPM, physicians too are positive for the same, as it helps reduce hospital readmissions making it beneficial for both, patients and providers. The choice to utilize remote monitoring technology gives powerful advantages in the fast-moving world of digital health.
Digital health solutions like blockchain-powered EHRs, Telehealth, AI, Wearables, Web portals, Care Coordination Software and Analytics are the foundations of the digital healthcare industry. But, Remote patient monitoring technology and solutions are digital awakening for the industry which will act as a catalyst for every futuristic innovation under the healthcare technology umbrella.