Patient monitoring is a vital telehealth component and a critical part of healthcare delivery. It involves the use of digital devices to collect and transmit physiological data.
The resulting information gives physicians more insight into a patient’s condition between office visits. This helps them to identify trends and alter the patient’s care plan accordingly.
What is RPM?
Remote patient monitoring services provide real-time healthcare data to physicians and patients via wearables, mobile apps, or traditional phone calls. This health data can help diagnose or predict unwanted outcomes so the physician can intervene before the issue worsens and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations.
RPM devices include glucometers, thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, and even smartphone apps that track calorie intake for patients with diabetes or adherence to treatment plans for substance abuse. These sensors are paired with software that records and transmits the collected data to the right people so the healthcare team can monitor patient health between office visits. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth prevented patients from visiting overburdened hospitals and getting the care they needed faster. But RPM can be used for much more than that, including helping patients manage chronic diseases and lowering costs by keeping them at home longer.
How does RPM work?
The remote monitoring devices record a patient’s health data, which is then sent to the healthcare facility. This information is stored in a database and can be viewed by a physician. The device can also send an alert to the doctor if it detects that something is wrong.
The COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed that RPM is a useful tool in the fight against infection and complications from chronic conditions. The ability to stay in contact with a doctor without the risk of spreading the virus makes it possible for patients to manage their health and avoid hospitalization. RPM also promotes patient engagement by allowing patients to track their data and make correlations that they might not have been able to see with just limited in-person interactions with a doctor.
What are the benefits of RPM?
In addition to providing a valuable tool for reducing healthcare costs and improving health outcomes, remote patient monitoring services can level the playing field for smaller medical practices. This is particularly true when it comes to chronic disease management.
RPM is one of the only technologies available that allows physicians to understand a patient’s overall health. Previously, healthcare professionals had to rely on self-reported information, sporadic testing, or even their patients’ memory. Another advantage of RPM is that it can prevent patients from having to visit their doctor’s office as frequently. For patients who suffer from debilitating diseases, frequent physical visits can be difficult to manage and may put them at risk of infection. This can be particularly challenging for older adults and people with limited health literacy.
How can RPM help me?
RPM provides healthcare providers with a deeper clinical understanding of patients’ status between in-office visits and gives them tools to ensure care delivery is delivered proactively. Physicians can also observe how symptoms evolve and adjust their patient’s treatment plans accordingly.
For patients, RPM offers increased access to healthcare and a sense of reassurance and control. Patients receive information and feedback on their conditions daily, empowering them to take action.
For example, a physician can monitor a patient’s blood pressure regularly and receive alerts if it goes above or below the target range. This allows them to take proactive steps to avoid a stroke or heart attack and make healthier choices in the future. Moreover, well-designed cellular RPM devices are user-friendly and comfortable. As a result, patients feel like they are a partner in their health and may be more likely to adhere to the program’s guidelines.