Remote patient monitoring (RPM) enables patient monitoring outside of the usual clinical settings, increasing access to care and decreasing healthcare delivery costs. The pandemic has brought more attention to the value and benefits of virtual care. Here are three reasons the use of RPM will be increasing in the future.
- RPM enhances telehealth visits by providing a more complete picture of the patient’s health.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought popularity to telehealth rapidly, when in-person patient visits dropped 50-75 percent. As a result, consumer adoption of telehealth increased from 11 percent in 2019 to 46 percent as of April of this year in order to replace cancelled healthcare visits. But telehealth can’t do it all. While providers can “see” patients in a telehealth visit, they are unable to monitor their vital signs. RPM can detect high blood pressure, low oxygen levels, increase/ decrease in weight possibly due to medications, arrhythmias, high temperature, elevated blood glucose levels and more.
- RPM can provide real-time data needed to control symptom and disease progression.
RPM builds on the immediate value of telehealth necessitated by the pandemic by adding a means to capture, record and historically track a patient’s daily health. The true purpose of RPM is for chronic care monitoring and the proactive intervention of readmissions. RPM can connect patients to their care teams, providing the real-time data needed to control symptom and disease progression. It is very beneficial for patients with chronic illnesses like congestive heart failure, diabetes and COPD. RPM also is useful for patients who are considered to be “moderate to severe” in their disease state or who have comorbidities, such as hypertension, obesity or coronary artery disease.
Chronic disease management is a major factor in healthcare costs. Chronic care management represents 90 percent of total healthcare spending in the United States, according to the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
- RPM provides a better care path.
The physician sets the target parameters for each patient’s vital signs and patients take their vital signs every day. An ideal RPM program triggers a critical alert if a patient’s vital signs fall out of their normal range. These critical alerts serve as proactive intervention to address any health issues that arise, in an effort to keep patients out of the emergency room and prevent readmissions.
When patients use WITHmyDOC’s RPM@Home kit their vital sign data is transmitted in real-time directly to the healthcare provider’s dashboard. A provider or staff member can quickly review hundreds of patient records, communicating with the most critical patients via telephone, telehealth or text message. This allows for timely intervention, making a real difference in outcomes as well as avoiding a costly care episode. In addition, incorporating RPM in chronic disease management can significantly improve patients’ quality of life by preventing complications, allowing them to maintain independence and minimizing personal costs.
As telemedicine takes on a more significant role in healthcare delivery in the future, RPM will be the key driver of all virtual health.