How has remote patient monitoring for healthcare been beneficial?

Written by: Maliha Safiullah

Maliha Safiullah is a Former Correspondent for 60 Minutes, Channel Nine Australia and is a published writer having worked as a Feature Writer for Dawn News.

The world over, Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is revolutionizing the healthcare sector by not only considerably altering the quality of care provided to patients but by also augmenting the medical billing processes. Patient monitoring when done remotely involves high-end technology employed through health sensors attached to the body through a device-agnostic system that collects, formats and transmits patient data to a corresponding healthcare facility. The more advanced RPM systems, in case of LocateMotion, are designed with medical alert systems for fall detection and GPS for active older adults who may be prone to falls or wandering.

How do the Remote Patient Monitoring Systems work?

The algorithmic software employed by RPM systems accumulates vitals and stats of a patient which when transferred to the concerned medical staff are then assessed and suggestions for the areas of concern are determined. This information is then reverted to the patient or the patient’s healthcare supervisor. At any point, if an area of concern becomes alarming and the physician discovers incoherence in the data and declares that the patient requires immediate attention; alerts will be sent to designated emergency responders.  A medical emergency team once notified through the alerts will provide immediate assistance to the patient and will make the patient comprehend the situation and educate him/her regarding ways to prevent another similar incident in the future.

Through this process, caregivers are provided with health statistics of their patients in real-time, while also conserving resources and reducing costs which results in more precise and less arduous billing practices.

The functionality and relevance of any RPM system is determined by both the medical condition of a patient as well as the factors that are necessary for monitoring. The mechanisms employed for patient monitoring done through remote means of various patients, irrespective of their circumstance can be encompassed under four main headings:

  • An Integrated Data Source – One of the most integral components of any RPM system is a depository that accumulates patients’ data in a formatted system where when needed healthcare providers, billing agencies and any authorized person can access relevant data.
  • Smart Sensors – Technologically advanced sensors that gauge and calculate the physical vitals and overall health of a patient with seamless connectivity and while using GPS technologies.
  • On-device Data Source – Real-time culmination of data on the patient’s wearable that is received through the smart sensors and is later utilized and formatted to the integrated data source.
  • Insight-based Diagnostic Software – For any successful RPM system, a superior diagnostic software is absolutely fundamental. It serves the purpose of analyzing the collected data in order to provide relevant medical recommendations and alerts.

Remote Patient Monitoring has generated a multitude of benefits for both patients and physicians and as the technology advances in leaps and bounds, it practically demonstrates how beneficial it has been for healthcare.

5 Top Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring

  1. Medical Care from the comfort of your home
  2. Healthier Lifestyle for Patients
  3. Friendly on the Pocket
  4. Improved Support & Feedback Along With Patient Education
  5. Increased Work Capacity of Physicians

1. Medical Care from the comfort of your home:

The one benefit of remote patient monitoring that stands out is for patients with chronic ailment or limited mobility, is that it gives such patients the comfort to stay at home and use a wearable to do routine tests and transmit the findings in real-time for a doctor to analyze without the hassle of visiting a hospital. Especially for older adults suffering from illnesses that require continuous medical assistance, this is of great value advantage. This advanced form of medical care provided at home facilitates a convenient and speedy communication and counsel between doctors and patients.

2. Healthier Lifestyle for Patients:

Social isolation for older adults leads to depression and can result in the deterioration of health for many. For an older adult suffering from a chronic illness, being left at the hospital and having a monotonously mundane routine can lead to a sense of isolation. Hence, integrating an RPM for such patients can radically enhance the patient’s quality of life. Remote patient monitoring systems are designed to observe and collect data in real-time while permitting the person to live his/her life as normally as they possibly can. This is a blessing for chronically ill patients who would rather stay at home and spend time with their partners, families or friends than be confined to a hospital bed with limited visiting hours. Since RPM’s advanced technology transmits data continuously, any alarming information would send alerts to the concerned medical facility and alarm alert for emergency assistance will ensure that the patient receives the required care immediately when required.

3. Friendly on the Pocket:

RPM is a convenient technology with user-friendly interfaces for easy access that allows patients to be in control of their own well-being while also ensuring their peace of mind with daily assurances. Having to continuously visit a physician for prescriptions or to inquire about tests and their results, RPM systems reduce these costs significantly. With all required information only a click away, a patient is able to save up on the unnecessary hospital visits. This reduction on in-person visits help engage patients and lets them to be more responsible about their own health while letting hospitals and medical institutions be less crowded for patients who require emergency assistance.

4. Improved Support & Feedback Along With Patient Education:

Not only is RPM is an easy-to-use technology for even older adults, it also guarantees an increase in patient comfort while also ensuring that the patient is well-informed about his/her health.  Allowing a patient to be in control of their own health and being educated about the care they require empowers them to take decisions in matters pertaining to their treatment. Being able to understand their medical circumstance and continually equipped with data and resources results in them being involved in each step of their progress.  The process of receiving continuous support and having daily feedback on their health makes them also more comfortable regarding the costs of healthcare.

5. Increased Work Capacity of Physicians

With each passing year, accessing the services of a preferred doctor become even more problematic owing to increase in illnesses and limitations of physicians’ work hours. For most patients, they not only find it difficult to connect with their physician of choice but often get stuck in long waiting times being unable to get an appointment. The advent of the RPM technology has ensured that it assists in increasing the work capacity of physicians so they may provide their services to more people at a time. This will further guarantee that patients will enjoy better quality of care while sitting in the comfort of their homes.

Being able to access real-time data from patients will make the work of physicians more efficient with lower costs, higher efficiency and the ability to provide care to more patients without the risk of burnout.