December 5, 2023
What is remote patient monitoring?
Did you know that chronic conditions account for 90% of the healthcare costs in the U.S. annually? This can be prevented by timely assistance provided to patients using a remote monitoring system. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a healthcare technology that allows healthcare providers to monitor and track patients’ health remotely through various monitoring devices, such as wearable sensors and mobile apps. RPM is beneficial for managing chronic conditions, monitoring post-operative recovery, and other conditions that require ongoing monitoring.
Providing more accurate and timely data for healthcare providers, RPM can enable early intervention, improve patient outcomes, reduce hospital readmissions, and lower healthcare costs. Healthcare providers typically prescribe and set up the necessary monitoring devices and software, train the patient on using them, and then remotely monitor the patient’s health data, providing personalized feedback and support.
What are the benefits of RPM?
While there are many advantages of leveraging healthcare technology for continuous care, here are some poignant benefits of RMP:
- Chronic illness management: RPM can help patients with chronic illnesses better manage their conditions by enabling healthcare providers to monitor their health remotely and intervene promptly. This can lead to fewer complications, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits and help patients live more independently and comfortably.
- Timely intervention: RPM enables healthcare providers to monitor patients’ health in real-time and intervene promptly when necessary. This can help prevent health issues from becoming more severe, requiring more intensive treatment, and help avoid hospitalizations and emergency department visits.
- Patient engagement: RPM can increase patient engagement by providing patients with more frequent and convenient access to healthcare providers and enabling them to play a more active role in managing their health. Patients can receive personalized feedback and support and access educational resources more efficiently.
- Patient empowerment: RPM can empower patients by providing them with more information about their health and enabling them to take a more active role in managing their conditions. Patients can receive personalized feedback and support and use their health data to make informed decisions about their care.
- Improved medication adherence: RPM can help improve medication adherence by reminding patients to take their medications and providing feedback on their medication use. This can help prevent complications and hospitalizations and improve patients’ quality of life.
- Improved caregiver support: RPM can provide caregivers with more information and support and help reduce the burden of caregiving. Caregivers can receive patient health updates and communicate more efficiently with healthcare providers.
- Increased access to care: RPM can increase access to care, particularly for patients who live in remote or underserved areas or have difficulty travelling to healthcare facilities.
What are the different types of RPM technologies?
Various point-of-care devices can assist in the tracking and monitoring of patients remotely. The different types of remote patient monitoring (RPM) technologies include:
- Wearables: Wearable devices are worn on the body and can collect data on a patient’s physical activity, heart rate, sleep patterns, and other health indicators. Examples of wearable devices include smartwatches, fitness trackers, and health monitors.
- Mobile apps: Mobile apps can track patients’ symptoms, medications, and vital signs and communicate with healthcare providers. Some mobile apps employ machine learning algorithms to analyze patient data and provide personalized feedback and recommendations.
- Innovative accessories: Smart accessories are devices attached to existing medical equipment or worn on the body to collect patient health data. Examples of intelligent accessories include blood glucose monitors, blood pressure cuffs, and pulse oximeters.
- Medical devices: Medical devices are specialized devices that monitor specific health conditions or treatments. Examples of medical devices used for RPM include cardiac monitors, implantable devices, and respiratory devices.
- AI point-of-care devices: AI-powered point-of-care devices are used to diagnose, monitor, and treat patients in real-time. These devices use machine learning algorithms to analyze patient data and provide personalized feedback and recommendations. Examples of AI point-of-care devices include diagnostic tools, telemedicine platforms, and virtual assistants.
RPM technologies are diverse and varied and can be used to monitor patients’ health and improve healthcare outcomes. By enabling healthcare providers to collect more data and intervene promptly, RPM technologies have the potential to create a positive impact on the patient’s quality of life.
RPM Trends in 2023
RPM technology is expected to evolve and become an increasingly important part of healthcare delivery, driven by advances in AI/ML and the growing demand for more personalized, convenient, value-based and cost-effective care. Another significant driver is an ageing population, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, and the need for more efficient and healthcare delivery.
The global RPM market is projected to reach $31.3 billion by 2027, with significant growth in telehealth services, wearable devices, and mobile health apps. there is a growing focus on improving interoperability and data security in RPM technology to ensure patient privacy and protect against cyber threats.
- Integration of RPM and AI: RPM systems will increasingly incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) for better data analysis and personalized care. AI can help identify patterns and provide insights for early intervention, improving patient outcomes .
- RPM in new care settings: As RPM technology becomes more affordable, it will be adopted in various care settings such as home health monitoring, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes to ensure better patient care and reduce hospital readmission penalties.
- Remote monitoring for mental health: In 2023, RPM technology will be increasingly used for monitoring mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, providing real-time data to physicians and enabling timely interventions.
- RPM for pediatric care: RPM in pediatric care will increase, offering better monitoring of children’s health, especially those with chronic illnesses or requiring long-term care.
- Miniaturization of RPM devices: Device manufacturers will focus on creating smaller, less invasive RPM devices that are more comfortable for patients to wear, making it easier to monitor health conditions remotely.
What are the challenges of RPM?
Despite the efficacy and value of RPM solutions, they have their own set of unique challenges. Some challenges that have been identified include:
- Patient data security: The collection and transmission of patient data via RPM technologies can raise concerns about data privacy and security. Patients may hesitate to share their personal health information due to fears about data breaches or misuse. Additionally, healthcare providers must ensure that RPM systems comply with data protection regulations and standards.
- Digital health literacy: RPM technologies require patients to have a certain level of digital health literacy to use and understand the data generated by these systems. Patients unfamiliar with technology or have limited access to it may need help to engage with RPM tools, limiting their effectiveness.
- Technical challenges: RPM technologies can pose technical challenges, such as connectivity issues, data transmission errors, and device malfunctions. Technical issues can lead to delays in monitoring and treatment, impacting patient outcomes.
- Reimbursement policies: RPM services can vary by region and payer, creating challenges for healthcare providers and patients seeking access to these services. In some cases, RPM services may not be covered by insurance or be subject to limitations or restrictions.
The increasing demand for RPM solutions will foster its adoption and expansion in emerging markets and geographical regions. RPM not only benefits healthcare providers, but the organization overall in terms of ROI, improved patient outcomes and continuous care.
At PatientOne, our OpenRPM model allows healthcare practices to choose the RPM solution that best supports their patients. Whether it’s ensuring chronic conditions get managed properly, bridging the communication gap that deters proper care, or engaging with behavioral health patients, PatientOne enables an extended care model that expands access and improves care.