Due to its many benefits, remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices have been increasingly popular over the past several years. As a result, it is expected to grow by 12.5% yearly over the next decade. This pattern is foreseeable in light of the rise in the elderly population, the high expenditures associated with treating patients in hospitals, and the enormous pressure that COVID-19 places on hospitals.
Many medical experts began remotely monitoring the symptoms and vital signs of individuals who were and were not infected with the coronavirus during the epidemic. The prospect of remotely monitoring patients holds much promise in the future. Continue reading if you are interested in a resource on monitoring remote patients.
What is “Remote Patient Monitoring” (RPM)?
The term “remote patient monitoring” (RPM) refers to monitoring a patient’s vital signs and other health information from a remote location using various health monitoring equipment. These remote monitoring devices capture and communicate a patient’s health data to a healthcare physician, who can subsequently evaluate the data and monitor the patient’s health remotely and around the clock. As a result of the health data they obtain electronically from the patient’s health monitoring devices, medical professionals can monitor the state of a patient’s health by utilizing RPM systems and technology. Furthermore, they can conduct evaluations and make suggestions based on this information.
This page is intended as a reference and guide to remote patient monitoring.
How does Remote Patient Monitoring Work?
Over the last ten years, there have been several developments in the technology behind remote patient monitoring. As a result, patient monitoring and telehealth have recently come into the spotlight, and it is impossible to overstate the significance of remote patient monitoring.
Following steps involved in remote patient monitoring
Activating the patient health monitoring device is the first step in setting up a remote patient monitoring system. With the help of a Bluetooth module, these medical gadgets may transmit data to a smartphone app carried by the patient. Devices can now measure various health metrics, from oxygen saturation to blood pressure. These can be implanted sensors or externally worn gadgets like a Fitbit or an Apple watch. Health data is recorded and transmitted to caretakers, typically via smartphone apps designed specifically for remote patient monitoring. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the following RPM devices:
- Electronic Thermometers
- Electrocardiographs (ECGs)
- Cardiac Monitors
- Apnea Monitors
- Electroencephalographs (EEGs)
- Blood Pressure Monitors
- Breathing Frequency Monitors
- Electronic Stethoscopes
The smartphone’s specific mobile app must provide the RPM device’s health data to the healthcare practitioner. Modern health data collection and transmission to hospitals and healthcare providers have greatly improved. Current remote patient monitoring may also analyze real-time data more precisely to spot aberrant signals faster. The healthcare facility receives health data by text, phone, or the internet.
The healthcare center requires a web application to receive and “see” patient data. HIPAA and interoperability standards apply to this app.
Data Evaluation and Notification
The cloud or healthcare institution stores patient RPM device data. Vital sign data is then compared to a doctor’s higher and lower threshold levels. The healthcare facility’s RPM system warns a doctor if the threshold value is exceeded. SMS, in-app, or email can notify the doctor.
Many RPM systems contain an analytics module that uses data visualization and BI to give doctors and patients real-time measurements. Healthcare providers can use these tools to visualize patient data patterns and trends. This data helps doctors forecast dangerous situations and choose the best therapy.
If necessary, the RPM system, nurses, or physicians alert emergency responders after a notice. Health data indicates a patient needs emergency medical treatment, authorities are contacted, and help is delivered. If the data suggests a therapy modification, the doctor can make the right call and tell the patient by email, phone, or in-app alerts. Doctors can also help avoid future unpleasant outcomes.
Remote Patient Monitoring: A Post-COVID Benefit?
Remote patient monitoring is now the priority as COVID-19 spreads worldwide. As the pandemic progresses, social separation remains the best defense. Technology will help the healthcare system unless we have a good offense.
Remote Monitoring Combats COVID-19
WHO recommends one doctor per 1000 people; however, rural healthcare networks are still developing in countries like India. In another research by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 13,000 fee-for-service Medicare enrollees got telemedicine help before the first US epidemic was reported. 1.7M by April 2020.
Telehealth applications gained 158% of users after the first wave. Online healthcare subscriptions rose 15-fold in Japan. These data suggest that remote patient monitoring will continue to grow and that the $8.5B business will reach $21.56B by 2025. These instances imply patient monitoring and telemedicine will continue.
COVID-19 Remote Patient Monitoring Benefits
If you compared healthcare systems before and after COVID-19, you’d see a massive technology adoption shift. Remote patient monitoring existed before, but it was less widespread. RPM has had sound effects:
- Online appointments helped hospitals speed up care.
- Increased doctors’ multitasking capacity
- Less paperwork and reporting
- Improved patient care and satisfaction
- Improved coverage in rural regions with a skewed doctor-patient ratio
- Proactively monitored mortality risk.
- Excellent critical resource distribution
RPM Allows Scaled Real-time Interaction
Scaling exchanges to maintain patient-doctor relationships and check vitals before an emergency requires a hospital visit. To curb COVID-19’s expansion, we must learn from past failures and increase screening and patient education.
Real-time patient monitoring improves clinical and economic outcomes. For example, RPM during the COVID-19 pandemic might speed up care if pacemakers alerted doctors to aberrant pulses. In addition, detecting early illnesses and changing therapy might shorten hospital stays.
The cardiac monitoring platform aids in the treatment of patients. RPM systems, smartphones, and tablets securely transmit pacemaker data to caregivers during patient visits.
Remote Patient Monitoring and Healthcare Real-time Application
Hospitals are serving millions of people by utilizing RPM. During pandemics, cardiac patient monitoring applications were the most popular. Making it accessible to doctors and patients is the biggest problem. Few healthcare practitioners can receive and plan patient data. Most hospitals can get alerts from implanted medical devices.
Remote Patient Monitoring: How Important?
Telemedicine and RPM are two different things Although they look similar, they serve different objectives. Telemedicine uses information and communication technology to diagnose and prevent illness.
Remote monitoring, which tracks patients’ vitals in real-time to allow preventative intervention, requires patient agreement and supervision. Remote systems and staff monitor and manage care in real-time.
It is growing in India, where telemedicine is new. Despite remote data transfer, patients had to schedule visits with doctors. The sole benefit was that the data was already on the doctor’s screen when the patient arrived. Despite technological penetration, India’s doctor-to-patient ratio is much below WHO standards, making it a negative.
However, it was ideal for testing it in non-urban regions, where the technology footprint is just 30% of urban areas. In such cases, widespread RPM use enhances healthcare coverage and allows illness pattern research.
Patients worldwide prefer shorter hospital stays, which allows healthcare personnel to focus on periodic crises and lower death rates. In addition, shorter hospital stays reduce financial strain and improve post-hospitalization quality.
The healthcare community’s biggest problem is providing personalized treatment with limited resources. Thanks to innovation, RPM would manage chronic illnesses, post-surgical care, and recovery. It helps healthcare fight the new common adversary and optimizes access to care. However, Delivery methods may be improved to improve patients’ lives during and after hospitalization and help hospitals handle emergencies without tying up resources.