Technological innovations are the cornerstone of every industry in today’s times. Regardless of the nature and extent of an industry, it benefits vastly from technological novelties that revolutionize how it functions and provides value. The same is true for the healthcare industry which has come impressively far by leveraging modern technologies to deliver advanced medical care to patients. However, technological advancements in the healthcare industry aren’t restricted to the quality and efficacy of treatments provided but also span the way medical assistance is delivered. Remote patient monitoring is the leading example of how digitalization has transformed and enhanced healthcare delivery and made it more accessible and convenient for patients. 

Remote patient monitoring is a prominent branch of telemedicine and has already entered the mainstream healthcare delivery system owing to a boost in its adoption in times of Covid-19. RPM is a care delivery model which leverages digital health tracking devices like wearable health monitors, smartphones and vitals recorders to regularly gain detailed information and insights into a patient’s condition to enable their physicians to make informed treatment decisions and monitor their health between clinic visits. RPM devices are playing a significant role in bridging the gap between patients and providers and making preventive treatment more efficient, eventually improving health outcomes. Let’s have a detailed look at how remote patient monitoring devices can positively impact patients’ health.

-Better outcomes become more common and less stressful

Clinical outcomes improve substantially in patients engaging with their providers through remote patient monitoring devices. Patients suffering from critical ailments like certain heart conditions can stay under the surveillance of their care team and specialists and be prevented from any complications, improving their prospects of recovery. Exhaustingly frequent clinic visits aren’t required anymore as better outcomes can be achieved remotely in a less stressful way through RPM devices. 

-Lower readmission rates in ERs, hospitals and care facilities 

The VHA found when RPM was used for one year, re-hospitalizations were reduced by 50% and emergency room visits were down 11%. Since patients can self-record their healthcare data using RPM devices and constantly furnish their providers with their real-time medical information, physicians and doctors can predict future risks and provide preventive treatment to lower their chances of hospitalizations and emergency room visits. Once a patient is released from the hospital, they can be enrolled in an RPM program for continuous, rigorous follow-up to avoid rehospitalization. 

-RPM devices allow providers to continue monitoring and treatment

Once a patient steps out of a clinic, the connection between them and their physician severs which can cause a gap in their continuous holistic treatment, lowering the chances of recovery. RPM devices can help patients and providers maintain out-of-the-clinic communication virtually and work in tandem to achieve better health outcomes. Treatment adherence can also be monitored using RPM devices and physicians can make tweaks and recommendations in care plans for up-to-date patient management and care. Furthermore, using high-end sensing technologies, physicians, caregivers and families of patients can be alerted of any mishaps like falls and accidents for an immediate response that can be potentially life-saving. With the increased engagement facilitated by RPM devices, patients can gain back control of their health and well-being and up their chances of recuperation. 

-More frequently monitoring patient data makes it easier to spot red flags

As mentioned earlier, patients being engaged through RPM programs can be safeguarded from unprecedented complications. In the constant stream of patient data physicians receive, they can identify red flags that are a cause of concern and tackle them through proactive treatment ensuring patients stay on track of their healthcare plans. Physicians and doctors can also map out trends in patient data that suggest future possibilities of exacerbation and take active steps to ward off any forthcoming threat. Remote patient monitoring empowers physicians with the ability to foresee health complications and make full use of their medical knowledge and experience to deliver successful patient outcomes. 

-Patients are encouraged to take a more active role in their treatment

When patients partner with healthcare providers through RPM programs in a bid to improve their health and wellness, they become actively involved in their treatment status and are encouraged to take self measures to improve their condition. Treatment adherence also increases when patients are engaged through RPM programs. Furthermore, patients and their families can be assured of the accuracy and genuineness of the treatment provided by their healthcare providers, owing to the increased transparency in RPM programs. 

-Very helpful in chronic conditions management

Since chronic conditions require continuous medical assessment for effective management, RPM programs prove to be very handy for treating chronically ill patients. Through constant, high-quality communication and coordination between patients and providers in RPM programs, tracking regular updates in a patient’s condition becomes achievable and leads to better chronic disease management. Chronic ailments like diabetes can aggravate unprecedentedly and rapidly and demand frequent medical assessment for timely intervention. RPM programs are tailor-made for chronically ill patients and give them and their families a sense of confidence that they are under competent medical care every time. 

Looking at the future: innovations in the remote patient monitoring space

Innovations are a constant in every sphere of the healthcare industry and remote patient monitoring is no different. IoT and AI are powering remote patient monitoring devices with unique real-time data tracking and transmission capabilities which will drastically transform the way care is delivered to patients. Furthermore, computer vision technology is being used to gain live visual access to the patient’s surroundings and detect any suspicious activities indicating accidents for immediate intervention. Health Wealth Safe, a leading RPM solutions provider, is actively working to innovate and automate more and more RPM activities for healthcare providers and enable them to deliver enhanced medical care and attention more efficiently. 

Author Bio :

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Dr. Subodh Agrawal

Dr. Agrawal is the owner of Athens Heart Center and CEO of Doctors ACO and Health Wealth Safe. He earned his MB BS degree from SMS Medical College, University of Rajasthan, India. His fellowship was done at Emory University School of Medicine and University of Alabama: Birmingham. After medical school, Dr. Agrawal went abroad, holding such positions as Senior House Officer at Kitwe Central Hospital in Zambia and Bury General Hospital in England, and physician at the US Army Hospital in Nurnberg, West Germany.

He is a board certified cardiologist, internist, sleep medicine and pain management practitioner.

Outside of the office, he continues to give back to the medical community through his non-profit, Physicians Circle for Patients, which helps low-income patients pay for medical services.