What Is Remote Patient Monitoring And How Does It Work?

The benefits of remote patient monitoring (RPM) are abundant — to the point that their value is...

The benefits of remote patient monitoring (RPM) are abundant — to the point that their value is altering traditional healthcare services and shifting their methodology. RPM technology allows patients to use mobile medical sensing devices to gather data autonomously and automatically, including vital signs, movement patterns, ECG, weight and other key information which is then relayed realtime to mobile apps and caregiver workstations.

In this article, we’re going to talk about how remote patient monitoring works, the benefits of remote patient monitoring, and what it is used for. 

What is remote patient monitoring (RPM)? 

Remote patient monitoring is a term used to describe the process of monitoring patients without the need for them to visit the doctor’s office. It can be done through the use of telemedicine or other remote sensor devices such as wristbands, smartwatches, tablets, cellphones, and computers. 

RPM is critical for patients who are unable to travel due to their condition or for those who live in areas where it would be unsafe or difficult to make the journey to a doctor’s office. By connecting patients to remote monitoring devices, doctors can stay in the loop of their status - and by complementing said devices with AI, algorithms can predict and even foresee future health problems and curb them before they become an issue. 

The most common forms of remote patient monitoring include video consultations, remote sensor devices, and wearable devices. Some people may think that this is just another form of telemedicine, but there are some key differences between these two concepts. Remote patient monitoring includes medical data that is collected by sensors and transferred over a network whereas telemedicine requires both parties to assist in a virtual meeting. One does not negate the other, on the contrary, they complement each other. 

Remote patient monitoring is a technology that can help to improve health outcomes for the elderly who want to retain their independence at home as well as for patients who are at risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. This technology aims to make it easier for people to monitor their health by providing them with the right tools. — in most cases, due to tech giants like Apple and Google, these devices can now be bought online at a fraction of their former costs, or have already been inserted into common everyday use tech such as cellphones.

By using RPM devices, doctors and patients can get better information about their health and can then take action when warning signs appear. This is usually real-time information, that’s unique to each case since monitoring devices typically create personalized bio-profiles for each user. 

What is remote patient monitoring used for? 

Remote monitoring of patients is an important part of the healthcare system. It helps to improve patient health and safety by providing them with a way to monitor their health outside of the hospital.

RPM - Remote patient monitoring - has been around for decades, but it's only in recent years that it has become more mainstream. In fact, there are now more than 10 million remote patient monitors in use across the US alone. The technology is often used when patients need to be monitored closely but can't make it to the doctor's office or hospital regularly due to illness or injury.

Remote patient monitoring provides patients with a way to monitor their health outside of the hospital by sending data from sensors and devices at home to medical professionals for analysis and interpretation. This allows doctors and nurses to remotely assess a person’s condition.

remote patient tracking

It is frequently used to help patients that have chronic problems or are in senior care, or have been recently discharged from a hospital. It’s an essential part of today’s healthcare industry since it can alert specialists to issues or keep track of patients between visits. 

RPM is also used by businesses that want to record workman's comp cases, as well as pharmaceutical companies in the development of new drugs, treatments, or algorithms. 

Benefits of remote patient monitoring

The main goal of RPM is to provide timely, accurate information to the clinician.

Benefits from using remote patient monitoring

  • Better patient engagement: Remote Patient Monitoring technology permits patients to play a key role in supervising and understanding their own conditions.

  • Optimized quality of care: Remote Patient Monitoring allows patients and healthcare providers to get more relevant and timely patient data.

  • Better access to healthcare: Remote Patient Monitoring allows patients to complete critical health testing on their own.

  • Higher levels of education and support: Remote Patient Monitoring allows patients to access information and get critical feedback about their conditions — educating them in the process and providing assistance.

  • Patient assurance: continual monitoring can give patients assurances that any potential issues will be managed promptly.

Remote patient monitoring workflow - what does it usually look like? 

Remote patient monitoring aims to provide clinical care to patients who are not able to access health care services due to living in remote areas, being too ill, or being unable to leave home. More recently many are taking advantage of this technology for the access of real-time and accurate data.

Remote patient monitoring devices and software can be used for vital sign monitoring, ECG, blood pressure measurement, weight management, and other health-related measurements.

RPM requires the clinic to improve and recreate its workflow. They will need to:

  • Understand their objectives and what they wish to achieve by implementing an RPM platform.

  • Map out a workflow that takes into account remote functions, budgets, ROI, etc.

  • Train and educate doctors and staff on what RPM will look like and how it will function within their workstations.

  • Source and buy optimal RPM technology.

  • Integrate RPM hardware.

  • Identify eligible patients for the RPM program. 

Why consider implementing remote patient monitoring today? 

RPM technology has been around for a while but has only recently started becoming more accessible because of the affordability and availability of mobile devices. 

One of the main driving forces of RPM is that it is not only recreating healthcare services but having an invigorating effect. Making it more efficient, less error-prone, and even - through the use of big data - allowing pharmaceuticals to develop better treatments and drugs, and correlate patient information faster. RPM saves time, saves money, and ultimately helps everyone do higher quality work much more effectively. 

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