By Vikram Thaploo
RPM had been beneficial during the pandemic by allowing hospitals to monitor and treat patients at home, which helped reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. Additionally, it reduced the need for patients to spend prolonged periods in healthcare settings, where they had a higher possibility of getting exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
Apart from the pandemic, RPM technology is transforming healthcare delivery by making it more patient-focused and moving towards proactive care. Remote monitoring allows healthcare providers to detect potential health issues before they become severe, allowing for early intervention and improving health outcomes. This approach can also reduce the need for hospitalisation, saving costs for both patients and providers.
As technology advances, we can expect more innovative RPM solutions to emerge and expect them to play a vital role in the future of healthcare delivery.
RPM Devices are not only Leading to Better Care but faster and More Preventative Care
RPM devices are revolutionising healthcare by not only improving the quality of care but also enabling faster and more proactive approaches to healthcare. These devices play a crucial role in remote patient monitoring, allowing healthcare providers to monitor patients’ health conditions in real-time from a distance. By continuously collecting and transmitting vital medical data, RPM devices empower healthcare professionals to detect potential issues early on and provide timely interventions, leading to better patient outcomes.
Moreover, RPM devices facilitate preventative care by enabling proactive interventions based on the gathered data. By closely monitoring patients’ health parameters, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels, healthcare providers can identify trends, patterns, and potential risks. This proactive approach allows for early identification of health issues and the implementation of preventive measures to mitigate or even prevent the development of chronic conditions or complications.
With the aid of RPM devices, healthcare providers can offer personalised and tailored care plans to patients. The continuous data streams generated by these devices provide a comprehensive view of patients’ health statuses, enabling healthcare professionals to make informed decisions and deliver individualised treatments. This personalised approach not only enhances the quality of care but also improves patient engagement and satisfaction.
There are four primary categories of remote patient monitoring systems utilised by healthcare providers to enhance patient care and enable remote monitoring:
Wearable Medical Devices: These compact electronic devices are worn by patients and have the capability to track essential vital signs, including heart rate, blood pressure, and pulse oximetry.
Mobile Health Applications: These applications are designed to gather data from wearable devices and other biosensors. They also have the capability to collect lifestyle information, such as dietary habits and exercise patterns.
Cloud-Based Systems: These systems are hosted on the cloud and serve as platforms for collecting and securely storing patient data.
Telemedicine Platforms: Telemedicine platforms establish a connection between healthcare providers and patients using video conferencing and other remote communication methods.
To ensure utmost patient privacy and comply with HIPAA regulations, patient data collected through remote patient monitoring systems is meticulously safeguarded.
How RPM technology is Aiding Healthcare Delivery
Enhances Healthcare Outcomes with Improved Data Management
Healthcare providers face significant challenges in treating patients with chronic diseases, particularly in implementing effective treatment plans. Two of the most common obstacles are infrequent patient follow-up and limited access to clinical data that offers a comprehensive, real-time, and integrated view of a patient’s daily life. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) technology can help overcome these challenges by combining analytics with real-time data collected through continuous remote monitoring. The process is made possible with the help of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and other wearable gadgets that transmit real-time medical data to healthcare providers for evaluation. By integrating electronic medical record (EMR) systems with remote patient monitoring solutions, the exchange of electronic data between platforms becomes seamless. This ensures that the vital signs captured through monitoring devices are securely stored in EMR or EHR (Electronic Health Record) systems, providing healthcare providers with access to a comprehensive medical history. Over time, this accumulated data enables clinicians to conduct more in-depth analysis and derive valuable insights. Medical informatics solutions further enhance and streamline the process of analysing patients’ medical data.
Addresses Clinical Staff Shortages and Enhancing Productivity
Remote patient monitoring technology offers healthcare professionals the ability to prioritise and deliver high-quality care to their patients. By providing real-time access to a patient’s health status, remote patient monitoring enables clinicians to attend to each patient and case more closely. Furthermore, many remote patient monitoring solutions can integrate with physicians’ electronic health records (EHR) systems to eliminate the risk of document duplication.
In addition to eliminating the need for in-person visits, remote patient monitoring services can assist clinicians in providing some services via virtual visits, thereby reducing the burden on clinical staff. Moreover, remote patient monitoring supports a team-based healthcare model that allows for greater provider flexibility. By leveraging remote patient monitoring technology, healthcare organisations can combat clinical staff shortages and boost staff productivity while maintaining the quality of patient care.
Promotes Healthcare Access in Rural Areas
Residents of rural areas often face significant obstacles to accessing adequate medical care, including lower average income, lack of insurance coverage, and a shortage of healthcare providers in their geographic region. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) technology can serve as a bridge to bring quality healthcare to these underserved areas. By leveraging the internet and cellular connections, RPM can provide healthcare services and resources to patients living in remote areas of the country, overcoming the challenges of time, expense, distance, and other barriers that may have previously hindered access to healthcare services. Through remote patient monitoring, residents of rural areas can receive the quality healthcare they need to manage chronic conditions, monitor their health, and prevent health problems from worsening.
Reduces Healthcare Costs
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) technology has significant potential to generate cost savings by improving patient outcomes and preventing more severe, and therefore more expensive, health outcomes. RPM can also reduce costs by preventing unnecessary hospitalisations, readmissions, and emergency room visits through better communication between patients and providers. Patients without RPM might visit the ER in response to symptoms that, with RPM, can be diagnosed and addressed without a hospital visit. By leveraging RPM technology, healthcare organisations can reduce healthcare costs while improving patient outcomes and enhancing the overall quality of care.
Improves Patient Satisfaction
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) technology offers healthcare providers more opportunities to collaborate with patients, which can improve the patient-provider relationship and promote increased patient engagement in their healthcare. RPM allows providers to check in on their patients more frequently, which can help patients feel more connected to their healthcare provider and more engaged in their own healthcare. Moreover, RPM provides patients with access to their own health data, enabling them to better understand the impact of their treatment and take action to address their own medical needs. This increased patient engagement has been linked to improved health outcomes and can result in higher levels of patient satisfaction with the care they receive. By leveraging RPM technology, healthcare organisations can enhance patient satisfaction and improve the overall quality of care they provide.
As telehealth services and remote patient monitoring systems become more prevalent, healthcare providers need to focus on delivering streamlined and user-friendly digital patient experiences. Integrated electronic health record (EHR) and practice management software systems can help practices of all sizes and specialties simplify record management processes, transfer health data, and communicate with patients and other healthcare professionals more efficiently.
Customisable patient interactions, convenient lab orders and results, integrated patient portals, easier patient check-ins, and seamless connections and data exchanges are all examples of user-friendly digital experiences that can facilitate adoption and seamless integration into a shifting healthcare landscape. By leveraging well-integrated digital solutions, healthcare organisations can improve the patient experience and enhance the overall quality of care they provide.
Vikram Thaploo, CEO, Healthnet Global
(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are sole of the author and ETHealthworld does not necessarily subscribe to it. ETHealthworld.com shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly)