Remote patient monitoring is a type of Telehealth delivery system which facilitates interaction between clinicians and patients at home. It involves using mobile devices to gather vital health information, which is then sent to healthcare professionals through a software application on your phone or tablet. The most common patient-generated health data include blood pressure, blood sugar levels, heart rate, and weight.
Remote patient monitoring can benefit every patient, but it is most frequently used for patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and those who require post-discharge care. Below is how remote patient monitoring works.
How did it come to be?
Lack of time, insufficient number of suitable specialists, as well as the risk of infections in the waiting rooms, are just some of the problems we face on a daily basis, mostly because of the covid-19 pandemic. Bearing in mind that this type of monitoring provides consultation with a doctor without having to actually be next to one, and regardless of distance, this type of medical service has proven to be an effective solution.
It came out as an ideal solution because there are countries in the world that have only 2 doctors per 1,000 inhabitants, believe it or not. Some of them are located in European Union. With the help of these “distance treatment” options, in such cases, a larger number of people can get adequate medical services. There are also countries that do not have enough specialists in some fields, and people in need cannot afford to travel for diagnostic purposes. Remote monitoring in this case provides every single person with the proper medical care, they deserve.
Timely diagnosis is the prevention of a bad outcome of chronic diseases
In addition to the above mentioned, below are more advantages this type of care ensures:
- Facilitated access to general and specialist health care for persons with disabilities
- Possibility of consultation with a selected specialist for residents of smaller towns and suburbs
- Collecting medical data in one place
- Accelerated diagnostics
- Monitoring the effectiveness of prescribed therapy, and its possible correction
- The possibility of ordering medical services for parents or the elderly for whom leaving the house would be a risk
- Reduction of total costs of treatment and health care
- The possibility of a quick response of the doctor to the change in the health condition of persons with chronic diseases.
How “remote monitoring” works
If you are still in doubt as to how you can take advantage of these benefits of remote treatment, here are our suggestions.
For starters, it would be useful to have a smartphone on which you can install some of the health monitoring applications. However, for more precise monitoring, a medical device is needed that records certain body parameters and transmits them to the mobile application on your phone. This way you can receive notifications, create reports for the doctor and monitor relevant parameters, wherever you are.
It involves using digital technology to send vital information between patients and healthcare providers. Remote patient monitoring uses devices that monitor a patient’s health condition, automatically record data, and send it to clinicians in hospitals, nursing facilities, intensive care units, primary care offices, or off-site monitoring centers. All these processes are automated, and data transmission is usually wireless. Click here to know about various remote patient monitoring devices.
Once the information reaches the providers, they can make recommendations by adjusting treatment protocols. Depending on the type of condition, a physician may make daily and sometimes hourly recommendations. They can also reassure the patients that the treatment is working and their health improves. If a patient requires immediate medical attention, the team may recommend that a patient heads to the Emergency Room.
Patient remote monitoring does not stop once discharged from a medical facility. After release from a care facility, remote patient monitoring devices allow providers to monitor a patient and may recommend treatment tweaks to prevent the need for an additional hospital visit. The clinicians can monitor various elements such as vital signs, heart rate, weight, blood sugar, blood oxygen, and electrocardiograms through these devices.
Data collection through RPM devices tends to be more consistent than it would be with traditional in-office appointments. The information is also real-time, which could be an utter lifesaver for patients with severe heart conditions, high-risk pregnancies, and other life-threatening conditions.
Common types of remote patient monitoring services
Heart rate monitors
These are wearables that automatically record your heartbeat throughout the day as you exercise, run errands, or even when you sleep. They record the number of beats a patient takes per minute, allowing your physician to give you the necessary instructions. For example, if your heartbeat suggests there is a problem, your specialist may recommend that you take medication or avoid rigorous exercise. Heart rate monitors are also helpful in diagnosing and treating syncope and presyncope.
These are devices that determine blood oxygen levels in your body, and they occur in the form of clips that you can attach to your earlobes or fingers. They can also measure a patient’s pulse, essential for individuals with chronic heart and lung issues. Pulse oximeters can help a physician detect declining lung function, which may necessitate testing for COVID-19. Athletes also use these devices for fitness monitoring.
Importance of remote patient monitoring
Thanks to remote patient monitoring, patients get a piece of mind due to continuous care. Healthcare providers can constantly check on them, which is particularly important, especially with high-risk patients. When it comes to healthcare, each interaction counts, and engaging a patient shouldn’t be an event that occurs once or a few times a year.
RPM is a clear and consistent win for patients and clinicians across the medical field.