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Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM): What You Need to Know

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September 22, 2021

Among the most significant issues in health care is patient engagement. Poor or a lack of patient engagement results in poor healthcare outcomes for the patient. Generally, patients want to be more involved in their care, and those engaged in the decision-making of their care report typically better outcomes.

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a concept that allows for patient engagement to occur without the traditional office visit. RPM has the potential to improve outcomes for patients while also reducing healthcare costs.

What is Remote Patient Monitoring?

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a telehealth delivery system that utilizes modern advances in information technology to collect patient data beyond the conventional clinical setting.

Remote patient monitoring involves administering healthcare in the home, or environment people prefer to live, work, and play. It uses technologies to build a bridge between the patient and healthcare providers.

Remote patient monitoring solutions can play a critical role in chronic care management and home health programs that reduce care costs and improve patient outcomes.

How Does Remote Patient Monitoring Work?

Communication between patients and providers is possible through tech-based remote monitoring devices. Patients observe themselves to obtain health-related data at scheduled intervals, then electronically transfer the data to their healthcare providers.

Medical professionals then evaluate that information in their offices, hospitals, intensive care units, nursing homes, or off-site monitoring sites to make recommendations daily - or even hourly -depending on patient status.

Continuously updating each treatment protocol also allows them to provide much-needed insight about treatment effectiveness, immediate alerts to alter prescriptions if necessary, and directions to visit the emergency room.

RPM devices enable providers to monitor and customize treatments after patients are discharged from the ER or care facility, making it less likely for them to return to the hospital.

By monitoring weight, vital signs, blood sugar, blood pressure, blood oxygen, heart rate, and electrocardiograms anywhere, clinicians can collect data more frequently and consistently than in-office patient appointments. These rapid, real-time information exchanges could save their lives in patients with heart conditions, dementia, or high-risk pregnant women.

Why is Remote Patient Monitoring Important?

1. Remote Patient Monitoring Helps to Develop Transparency and Trust Between Patients and Healthcare Providers

Trust is a critical ingredient to attain quality care. Remote patient monitoring is essential to the healthcare community because it helps develop transparency and trust between patients and healthcare providers. 

Patients can feel more confident that they are receiving consistent care. At the same time, doctors can rest assured that with compatible data mining tools at their disposal, there is improved communication with patients, leading to the patients receiving appropriate and constant care.

2. RPM Reduces Readmission Rates in ERs

RPM tools enable healthcare providers to monitor patients from their homes during recovery. This reduces the likelihood of patients shuttling back and forth to the hospital ER. Instead, they conserve that energy and focus on recovering. Stress reduction is critical to a patients' recovery.

3. RPM Aids to Reduce or Eliminate Hospitalization

RPM is a technological tool that aids or replaces patients typically monitored at a hospital, home health care service, and other care facilities. It decreases cost and improves health and health services. 

With remote patient monitoring, real-time data is obtained to provide patients with Alzheimer's disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), diabetes mellitus, and others.

What Conditions Qualify for Remote Patient Monitoring?

While remote patient monitoring can be utilized for acute or chronic conditions, these chronic conditions are most likely to benefit from its use:

  • Diabetes.
  • Fertility management.
  • COPD
  • Hypertension.
  • Post-op follow-ups.
  • The GIST diagnosis.
  • Chronic heart disease.
  • Post-operative care.
  • Addiction care.
  • Nephrology assessment.

The Outlook

In a survey by MSI International conducted in May 2021, four out of five respondents said they preferred RPM, especially for monitoring chronic diseases, and about half wanted to see it integrated into clinical care.

About 65% to 70 % of consumers responded to the survey stating they would participate in a program that monitors blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, and blood oxygen levels. 

In summary, RPM is the future of healthcare. It allows patients to be more engaged in their care and, at the same time, improves the quality of care. Additionally, it also eases the management of chronic conditions and improves patients' quality of life.


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