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Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM): Important Things You Need to Know

by | Jun 9, 2022 | Industry, Utopia

Last Updated on September 08, 2022

Providing high-quality healthcare is expensive and time-consuming. Moreover, the aging population and the number of chronic patients are increasing. On top of that, medical staff shortages mean healthcare providers aren’t able to spend much time with cases.

Another problem is that patients with chronic illnesses often improve while they’re in the hospital but struggle after discharge. Up to 25% of these sufferers end up readmitted to the hospital.

These preventable readmissions result in significant costs and resources for hospitals and medical providers. So a solution is necessary to effectively monitor and engage high-risk cases outside the hospital.

Today’s medical providers are turning to advanced technology to deliver high-quality care outside of the traditional setting. By combining cutting-edge technology and data analytics, providers can offer hospital-level care to patients outside the hospital.

Imagine a healthcare system that is accessible to everyone from the comfort of their home. A system that utilizes the internet of things to monitor health, share data with the care providers in charge, and give the necessary alert in case of an emergency.

Technology enables the monitoring of patients outside of conventional clinical settings. As you might know, there is a lot of Internet of Things devices in our society. Almost all our devices can be connected to the internet which in turn produces a lot of data.

With this data, remote patient monitoring (RPM) can undertake the same observations as a practitioner at the bedside of a patient, limiting the need for appointments and hospital visits. And built-in sensors track the movement of care receivers in their homes and alert the people concerned when needed. 

With the use of intelligent medical devices to track vital signs and analyze data in real-time, RPM allows patients to be monitored around the clock. So what exactly is remote patient monitoring?

What is remote patient monitoring?

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a healthcare service that uses technology to help medical providers monitor patients remotely. RPM helps medical receivers stay engaged in their care and gives healthcare providers more insight into their overall health.

Sometimes known as remote patient management, it uses the latest advances in information and communication technology to collect health data as well as deliver healthcare services outside of traditional settings.

The data collected by RPM devices can help practitioners make decisions on what treatments, procedures, and medications are most effective for a sufferer’s particular needs. Using advanced information technology, a practitioner can improve medical outcomes.

With remote patient monitoring, patients can engage with their care, and the healthcare provider can see if any problems arise. This technology helps caregivers make proactive clinical decisions and encourage better health outcomes.

A recent study by MSI International indicated that four out of five people prefer RPM. In addition, 50% of the person who participated in the survey indicated they want remote monitoring as an integrated part of their clinical care.

Importance of remote patient monitoring

The term “remote monitoring” encompasses a wide variety of innovative approaches designed to improve patient care. It is important to understand that the technical aspects of this technology serve a major objective.

The objective is to enable better health monitoring and quality of life for patients. Remote monitoring can be very useful for medical professionals and sufferers. Basically, it is the monitoring of care receivers outside of the conventional clinical setting.

RPM can be done at home or even in remote locations. Its advantages include cost savings and improved access to health care. This technology can increase access to care while lowering healthcare delivery costs.

Remote patient monitoring services are effective for people who live in rural areas or who don’t have access to a hospital. It improves medical follow-up and also promotes home care for the elderly, chronic patient, and people who cannot move autonomously.

Chronic patients are among the largest cost drivers in healthcare. They frequently visit hospitals and clinics, resulting in higher complications. Chronic conditions cost the U.S. healthcare system more than USD 3.8 trillion.

Medical monitoring is an excellent solution for these people because it provides access to concrete health data in real-time. Remote patient monitoring devices can be used to improve compliance with medication regimens, reduce office visits and better educate patients which can ultimately reduce costs.

Remote monitoring also makes it possible to monitor the evolution of a care receiver’s health. For example, if you suffer from a pathological disease requiring special monitoring, remote monitoring can be a solution.

The patient can stay at home while having regular medical follow-ups and be warned if there is an issue or the possible need for hospitalization. For hospital groups, this is a real asset to ensure smooth going for operations and free up hospital beds.

Another importance of remote patient monitoring is that sufferers can access their medical data, making them better informed about their health conditions. This can also facilitate communication between healthcare professionals and patients.

It is easier for doctors to take decisions relating to the patient with full knowledge of the facts. Moreover, doctors can constantly be aware of care receivers’ health status and thus be able to act preventively to limit the aggravation of the disease.

Remote monitoring of patient promotes a healthier environment for everyone. For instance, a patient with flu or cold can talk to their doctor without having to carry germs everywhere. Hence reducing the risk of contamination.

Healthcare providers are better protected against infectious diseases while providing counseling and monitoring patient progress. Additionally, this technology can reduce trips to hospitals and hospitalizations. 

A study found that two-thirds of patients 40 and older would utilize wearable or health monitoring devices if this can reduce the number of times they had to visit a healthcare facility or doctor.

Another report on RPM reveals that the technology is entering a new age that provides more solutions and uses to empower patients and facilitate expansion.

Remote patient monitoring technology

Devices keep getting more and more powerful while becoming cheaper and shrinking in size. RPM is made up of an entire ecosystem of devices. Devices such as:

  • Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
  • Smart scale
  • Spirometer
  • Medical alert system
  • Medication monitoring
  • Wearable devices
  • Smartwatch
  • Smartphone
  • Thermometer
  • Glucometer
  • Pulse oximeter
  • ECG and stethoscope
  • Blood pressure monitor

With today’s smart device, remote patient monitoring services allow people to stay at home while having regular medical follow-ups adapted to their situation.

Most medical devices are internet-connected and cordless which allows patients to move around more freely. Doctors can also adjust the administration of medication remotely, changing dosages or prescriptions according to the care receiver’s needs.

Moreover, it is estimated that by 2025, technology-driven innovation will generate an annual value of USD 350 – 410 billion in the healthcare sector (McKinsey and company). These technology-driven innovations are:

  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
  • Robotics
  • Blockchain
  • Targeted and Personalized Medicine
  • Electroceuticals
  • 3D printing
  • Big data analytics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Connected and Cognitive devices

Growth of remote patient monitoring

The increasing penetration of digital technology in our life is contributing to the widespread adoption of online healthcare services. The digital healthcare industry is expected to grow at a rate of 15.1% by 2021-2028. The market value is expected to reach USD 295.4 billion by 2028.

According to Globenewswire, the growth is magnified mostly due to increasing child illness, aging population, mortality, poverty-related difficulties, and racial discrimination in healthcare access as well as the pandemic.

Many medical professionals were skeptical about the future of remote patient monitoring before the pandemic. The lack of incentives and opportunities were deterring providers from implementing the technology.

But the onset of the pandemic changed attitudes and is ushering in rapid adoption. The market of RPM is expected to reach USD 85.031 billion by the end of 2026, increasing from USD 20.027 billion in 2019. These numbers show how much potential the technology holds.

Before the pandemic, RPM was already gaining popularity. And the crisis has just boosted the technology further. We are eventually moving away from the pandemic but monitoring technologies will continue to grasp into the life of patients.

Moreover, the rapid adoption and high penetration rate of technology in our everyday life are digitalizing traditional practices. And the increasing availability of health devices, as well as patients’ willingness of sharing their data, will significantly raise RPM adoption.

It is estimated that there are more than 5 billion smartphone users in the world which hugely benefit healthcare providers as patients can easily download and install medical apps on their phone.

Wearable technologies track care receivers’ vital functions throughout the day and transmit the data to the cloud for easy ongoing assessment by both patients themselves and healthcare providers.  

It is estimated that by the end of 2022, 320 million consumer health and wellness wearables devices will be shipped worldwide. And by 2024 more than 440 million of these devices will be shipped (Deloitte).

Moreover, the market for smart medical devices was estimated at around USD 25.7 billion in 2021. The market value is expected to reach USD 47.8 billion by 2028. This represents a CAGR increase of 10.9% between the period of 2022-2028.

And the wearable medical devices market was valued at USD 29.76 billion in 2020. The market is forecasted to grow at a rate of 26.4% from 2020 to 2027. The market is expected to reach USD 195.57 billion by 2027.

Patients can use wearable technology which has high-performance sensors and other medical devices at home to check their blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate and send the results to their doctor for analysis.

By making technology more accessible to patients, RPM enables medical providers to make a transition from the traditional fee-for-service model to a value-based approach. This also increases the engagement level of care receivers and ultimately improves the quality of care.

The development and deployment of mobile apps are making RPM even easier. Furthermore, RPM power by artificial intelligence and Big data can reduce errors as well as the gap between doctors and care receivers.

Remote patient monitoring devices improve communication between care receivers and provider as well as develops trust and transparency. It also provides a deeper understanding of patients’ conditions which in turn leads to better treatments.

RPM also empower users to take more control of their care plans and even become more conscious about their health. And more health insight can lead to better outcomes for both patient and the provider.

It can also reduce stress since patients don’t have to go back and forth to the hospital, which ultimately saves time and money. This can also reduce the amount of people that show up at hospitals and free up resources that can be used for more severe conditions and emergencies.

Hitconsultant reveals that around 88% of healthcare providers have invested or are considering investing in RPM technologies. It is also revealed that in the next 15 to 20 years, digital health tools and remote patient care can save up to USD 700 billion in the telehealth industry.

How remote patient monitoring works

In the US alone it is estimated that 70.6 million patients will use RPM technology by 2025. This represents 26.2% of the country’s population. Hence here’s how it works:

  • Healthcare providers assess if a patient is eligible for the remote monitoring program.
  • Patients who enrolled in the remote patient monitoring program receive an RPM kit from their healthcare provider that contains the necessary device for their specific health issues.
  • Patients use the devices to monitor their vital signs throughout the day.
  • The readings are sent automatically to the healthcare provider for analysis.
  • After the analysis, the patient is notified about their health conditions with the necessary instruction.
  • And if there is an issue a practitioner can call the patient for further information.

Many remote patient monitoring systems are simple to use, requiring only a basic knowledge of computers which is important in the digital age we are living in and for the increasing aging population. By 2030, 1 in 6 people in the world will be age 60 years or over.

Remote patient monitoring companies

According to research done by Insiderintelligence, 38% of healthcare institutions using RPM saw a 38% reduction in admission, improved patient satisfaction by 25%, and also record a 25% cost reduction.

RPM is a growing industry and healthcare providers are increasingly implementing the technology to improve care delivery and increase patient satisfaction. Hence, here are the RPM solution providers:

  • Dexcom
  • Honeywell Life Science
  • Medtronic
  • Philips Healthcare
  • ResMed
  • Senseonics
  • AT&T
  • Resideo
  • VRI

Benefits of remote patient monitoring

Remote patient monitoring combined with wearable devices opened new doors by providing high-quality care at home. In addition, many care receivers want to limit hospital visits which contributes to the growing success of RPM. Here are some benefits of remote patient monitoring:

Easy access to healthcare

RPM is a promising solution that can greatly expand the availability of health care. Using remote patient monitoring services enables healthcare systems to focus on prevention, which reduces the need for emergency room visits and improves patient well-being.

It also improves access to healthcare by speeding up the process of obtaining medical records. RPM helps to ensure that doctors have the information they want and that sufferers receive the treatment they need. Additionally, it can help to reduce the time it takes to get a referral to a specialist.

Extent practitioner reach

In addition to improving clinical outcomes, RPM can break down social determinants of health, such as transportation barriers. It is estimated that 3.6 million Americans do not receive medical care because of transportation barriers.

Issues related to transportation include lack of access to vehicles, broken infrastructure, and lengthy travel times to medical services. These factors add up to high costs and delay in getting needed treatment. Hence instead of going to a healthcare facility, RPM allows patients to connect with a practitioner from the comfort of their homes.

Moreover, remote patient monitoring devices make it easier to reach rural and underserved communities as there is no need to physically go to hospitals. Also, people with reduced mobility or those who cannot drive can more easily get the care they need. 

Improve the quality of care

Remote patient monitoring technology allows frequent care monitoring and data collection. This can encourage better self-treatment practices and help establish diagnoses. The systems can automatically analyze patient data and help providers respond quickly to new developments.

The potential to improve sufferers’ outcomes with RPM is considerable. The patient-provider relationship can be improved significantly when the health information is available in real-time which in turn leads to better healthcare.

Care receivers who have access to this service can enjoy better medical insight and compliance. With this information at their fingertips, they can improve their lifestyles and take action on their own health conditions.

RPM gives providers an extra set of eyes and ears to improve the quality of care. In addition to improving patient health, RPM reduces repeat hospitalizations and adverse events which can also contribute to a reduction of stress levels for sufferers.

RPM solutions track patient progress and provide real-time updates. Its services can help patients follow their care plans while allowing doctors to monitor their data more easily.

Increase efficiency

With remote patient monitoring services, medical providers can treat more patients without the need for more space or beds. Also, exam rooms do not need to be cleaned between consultations. Visits can be shorter and clinics can be smaller. 

RPM is a technology that collects and transmits care receivers’ real-time data. These data provide valuable insights that healthcare providers can use for diagnosis and treatment.

The data provided by remote patient monitoring systems improve clinical workflow, performance, and communication, and increase patient satisfaction.

With the advent of RPM technology, medical facilities can now monitor patients’ vital signs and address concerns remotely, reducing pressure on hospitals.

The convenience of remote monitoring can increase care receivers’ engagement and satisfaction. It also helps physicians and clinicians prioritize cases, as well as triage cases to optimize clinical workflow.

Increase productivity

Remote monitoring has been shown to increase hospital productivity. The ability to remotely monitor patients and their conditions allow for more efficient and effective treatment.

By monitoring patients’ vital signs and other data, hospitals can make more informed decisions about their care. In addition, remote monitoring can help to prevent medical errors.

By monitoring staff and care receivers’ conditions, hospitals can detect potential problems and correct them before they cause serious damage. By using it to improve patient care and prevent medical errors, hospitals can achieve a high level of productivity.

Data-driven decision making

Remote patient monitoring services have been shown to improve care by providing timely and actionable information that can help clinicians make better decisions. It also helps to reduce the burden on nurses and other healthcare professionals who are responsible for caring for patients.

RPM can help clinicians to understand the sufferer’s condition and track changes over time. This information can help to improve the quality of care and reduce the number of errors made.

It can also help to identify potential emergencies early and enable clinicians to take appropriate action. By providing clinicians with timely and accurate information, RPM can help to improve patient care and reduce errors.

Increase patient engagement

Many people are unable to self-manage a complex health condition or recognize warning signs of deterioration. This means that healthcare providers are often unaware of a patient’s condition until it has progressed to the point where a physician’s attention is required.

RPM offers the opportunity to avoid this scenario by enabling health monitoring from any location. With smart devices regularly tracking vital signs, care receivers can know when there are anomalies and are better aware of their health conditions.

Prevent unnecessary hospital visits

Remote monitoring of patients has been shown to reduce hospital visits by as much as 30%. The technology allows doctors to remotely monitor patients’ health and send alerts if they start to exhibit signs of illness or injury.

This allows doctors to take appropriate action before cases become seriously ill or injured, which can save both time and money. RPM devices can help reduce hospital visits as well as care costs.

The technology uses sensors to collect health data remotely. This data can be used to monitor the patient’s health and provide feedback to medical facilities without the receiver having to go to the hospital.

Facilitate doctors jobs

The benefits of remote patient monitoring extend beyond the convenience of the practice. It helps clinicians have a more comprehensive view of a patient’s health, including symptoms, and can be useful for assessing conditions over time.

And since patients are more engaged in their treatment, they are better aware of their health and symptoms, they can better explain their problems to doctors. This technology can also ease the workload of practitioners.

RPM helps doctors to diagnose and treat patients who are not available in person. It can extend the reach of doctors as well as cater to more sufferers in the same amount of time.

Reduce readmission

Using remote patient monitoring devices to provide care can improve clinical outcomes, shorten hospital stays, and reduce readmissions. It can help hospitals reduce readmissions by identifying patients at risk of returning to the hospital prematurely.

By tracking vital signs, heart rates, and sleep patterns, hospitals can identify patients who are at risk of returning to the hospital early and provide them with tailored care.

In addition, RPM can help hospitals identify patients who may be experiencing complications from their illness and provide them with timely intervention.

Improved doctor-patient relationship

Remote patient monitoring promotes a better relationship between the physician and the care receiver. It also improves patient satisfaction, which in turn leads to improved health outcomes and increased revenue.

The services help foster care receiver-provider relationships by promoting more relaxed and efficient communication. Care receiver can also see their doctors more frequently through videoconferencing and reduce the need for in-office visits.

Additionally, it allows the patient to see a doctor when they are not available in person. This can be beneficial because it allows them to get care when they are not feeling well even if they are not free. RPM can also build trust between the doctor and the patient.

Tackle labor shortages

RPM has the potential to address labor shortages in healthcare, as it can provide caregivers with real-time information about a patient’s condition remotely. This technology can help to minimize the need for hospital stays meaning fewer caregivers are needed.

As patients are monitored from their homes, this means that few caregivers can cater to more care receivers. Caregivers will be able to monitor patients without having to be present in the same room.

Collect up-to-date data

RPM is a technology that allows physicians to monitor patients’ vital signs and other health-related data remotely. Remote patient monitoring solutions leverage advances in technology to collect and analyze health data.

It allows providers to identify trends and make changes in care plans based on data. The devices used in remote monitoring of patients are wireless-enabled sensors that measure physiological parameters and store them in a database.

These data can be linked to other databases or related applications for analysis and presentation to healthcare providers. Data are stored in a relational database, which allows healthcare providers to examine individual instances and the history of a patient’s health over time.

Reduces healthcare costs

The reduction in visits and short-term hospitalizations thanks to the RPM translates into lower healthcare costs. It can also reduce long-term costs associated with complications such as costs for assessments, tests, or procedures.

Remote patient monitoring can help to reduce medical costs by providing real-time information about a patient’s health status. It also translates into time-saving as there is no need to go to the hospital which in turn saves money.

RPM can help to identify problems early and allow for more timely interventions. Additionally, it can help to optimize patient care by providing data that can help to improve the quality of care.

Reduce the risk of diseases transmission

Remote monitoring is an effective way to reduce the risk of disease spreading. By monitoring patients remotely, doctors can detect any changes in their health and can take appropriate action to prevent the disease from spreading.

Since there is no need to go to hospitals, it helps to prevent the spreading of contagious diseases. With RPM, practitioners can spot problems early and increase the chances of recovery.

It can reduce the risk of disease transmission by targeting high-risk patients with more complex conditions while reducing the workload at the hospital.

The benefits of remote patient monitoring demonstrate it is a big thing for the future of healthcare. And the pandemic has also demonstrated the flaws of the healthcare system.

Wrapping up

Remote patient monitoring provides many benefits for both care receivers and providers. It not only improves clinical insight but also allows providers to implement proactive care plans, reducing the risk of infectious diseases and over-scheduled in-person visits.

Among the patient populations that can benefit from remote monitoring are those suffering from chronic diseases, chronic conditions, post-surgical recovery, and maternal and child care. RPM also offers sufferers the ability to reduce travel costs.

It reduces the burden of hospital visits for patients and tackles the problem of crowded medical facilities. Care receivers no longer have to spend time off work to visit the doctor. The technology also helps patients who cannot travel to hospitals or face other challenges.

Remote monitoring of patients also reduces unnecessary hospital admissions and emergency department visits. Besides this, it also helps improve patient satisfaction, as they can feel that they are being monitored regularly.

Furthermore, remote patient monitoring will improve the relationship between patients and providers and fosters a better rapport. It also creates a feeling of regular monitoring among care receivers, which increases satisfaction.

Additionally, RPM helps reduce high inpatient costs. Care providers can focus more on reducing the cost of treatment, as the virtual cost of monitoring a patient is less than Brick and Mortar-related costs.

For instance, care receivers can be monitored remotely from home until a doctor becomes involved and this could lead to a reduction in emergency department visits and hospital readmissions. Using RPM reduces the cost of in-person visits.

This technology will allow doctors to focus on more important issues. Similarly, it allows providers to reach patients in rural areas and make appointments with specialists more easily.

And remote care eliminates the risk of spreading infectious diseases. This is especially important for elderly, chronically ill, and pregnant patients. By integrating administrative and service tasks, RPM can help improve medical outcomes.

RPM improves patient-provider relationships, leading to more efficient and relaxed communication. And with constant monitoring and engagement in their well-being, care receivers are well-informed of their health conditions.

Patients often have difficulty describing their symptoms. This is both dangerous and frustrating for providers. Well-aware patients will detect abnormal signs easily and can also better explain the issue to doctors. With such benefits, remote patient monitoring can only improve healthcare quality.