Conventional healthcare necessitates in-person visits for treatments or regular health checkups at the hospital or clinic. Everything from setting up appointments to traveling to the healthcare setting takes time.
Unless it’s an emergency, patients have to follow the protocol that leads to inevitable delays. However, this scenario has changed, thanks to the advent of remote patient monitoring (RPM).
In the words of Michael J. Fox, “Medical Science has proven time and again that when resources are provided, great progress in the treatment, cure, and prevention of disease can occur.”
The above statement holds true for RPM services.
Let us now explore it in more detail:
What’s Remote Patient Monitoring?
It’s a modern healthcare delivery method that utilizes advances in Information Technology (IT) for remote consultation, checkups, and treatment. By using remote patient monitoring devices, patients never have to leave their homes.
This is especially helpful for seniors who cannot frequently visit hospitals due to physical limitations or if their family members don’t live close by. Any health information about the patient can be conveyed to the healthcare provider through RPM devices.
It is achieved through the use of tablets, smartphones, and specific sensors that transmit the senior’s physiological information after reviewing, which the doctors can recommend the next medication, actions, and care.
Not just that, remote patient monitoring solutions can also help remind patients about exercises, diet, medication, and sleep. They have flow charts, instructions, and other information needed for self-care, such as instructions to combat anxiety.
Components of RPM Tech
Technology has made wearable devices widely accessible. All patients have to do is wear them without needing any proximity with the doctor.
RPM technology comprises five components described below:
These consist of sensors that provide prescriptions, alerts, reminders, and communication with the healthcare provider. The input devices can feed and transmit the physiological data or the senior can enter it manually.
Some of the devices used in remote patient monitoring are glucose monitors, Bluetooth-enabled scales, wireless blood pressure devices, smartwatches, DNA health tests, personal computers, gut microbiome tests, heart rate monitor, etc.
Local Data Storage
All patient data during the treatment cycle is kept safe in a central repository or local data storage such as a USB device. The data can be accessed by the patient, doctor, and caregivers.
The input devices discussed earlier need a network and communication system to connect with the Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. To facilitate patient-doctor communication, the service providers often help set up this network.
It could be achieved via Bluetooth connection, mobile connection, or Wi-Fi.
Hospitals and clinics maintain the EHR system that stores the patient data. It serves as vital information for medical practitioners to advise suitable treatment and medication or make an accurate diagnosis.
Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring System
There are multiple benefits of the RPM system for both the patients and doctors. Some of the advantages for patients are outlined below:
- Reduction in frequency of hospitalization
- Adherence to medications, no missed doses
- Rapid diagnoses of diseases allowing timely intervention
- Reduced healthcare costs, effort, and time
Doctors, too, benefit from the remote patient monitoring system. Some of the advantages for doctors include:
- Effective utilization of medical resources
- Balanced time and workload
- Real-time patient supervision
Applications of RPM
Remote patient monitoring has numerous use cases, as explained below:
Seniors living with dementia often lose their way or fall accidentally due to the physical and mental decline that accompanies the condition. For such people, RPM devices that offer surveillance and assistance can be a boon.
These GPS-enabled devices can also allow family members to track the senior’s location.
Diabetes and Hypertension
Patients with high blood pressure or diabetes require continuous monitoring of their vitals. Remote patient monitoring services can help seniors check their vitals regularly.
The devices can send alerts to control the blood sugar and blood pressure level. Besides, the diagnostic software can handle the medication and diet to maintain acceptable levels.
If the patients agree, rare conditions often require clinical trials. To make that possible, long-term observation of seniors with the help of RPM systems becomes necessary.
Compared to Telehealth, remote patient monitoring has a lot of potentials. Continual innovations in the area would see increasing patient participation in the future. Apart from that, information-sharing will improve, thanks to the progress in technology.
RPM lets seniors stay at home – which they prefer a lot more than hospitalizations.