Remote care and telehealth services have gained traction after the pandemic. Initially, it was necessary, but now RPM systems or remote patient monitoring devices are accepted based on the positive outcomes and encouraging data.
Advanced innovation in remote care is heartening news for patients with chronic and life-threatening diseases like heart conditions, diabetes, and COPD. These patients suffer from ailments that can turn from stable to worse in a short period. Their health management practices influence their physiological health data. Data like heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood glucose need to be monitored constantly, to avoid deterioration of health with clinical intervention. If data is not reviewed, the damage from these conditions leads to health fatalities.
RPM systems support the healthcare industry
AI-powered technology that aids remote patient care and telehealth systems can emerge as a pillar of support for the healthcare industry in terms of monetary and quality patient care benefits.
Remote patient systems help patients to monitor their physiological data. With a rise in patient engagement, they proactively use the data to check their practices and take corrective measures whenever necessary. If a diabetic patient is low on glucose, then an alert is set off that will be taken into cognizance by the telehealth nurse monitoring the data.
A patient’s family member is alerted, and necessary steps to bring the glucose level back to the accepted level are done. Medication and diet that can help bring back the reading to the normal range are followed.
Smart analytics to save lives
With advanced sensory readings that are stored in cloud-based platforms, patient data insights from RPM devices like oximeters, spirometers, and apnea monitors are analyzed to recommend an expert’s clinical opinion. Often factors that influence our health adversely are unknown till the disease has spread to an extent. But with predictive analytics, a large number of cases that we did not know exist, will surface at an early stage and be nipped in the bud to avoid a rampant increase of ailments.
By using analytics and RPM there are surveys that healthcare data will improve as patient readmissions are cut down and emergency room calls diminish gradually. There will be better patient outcomes and their experience is enriched.
Segments of a remote patient monitoring system
Like any technical portal set-up, remote patient monitoring systems can be broken down segment-wise to understand the basic framework. The following features are dominant in an RPM system:
- Wearable device
An RPM device is a wearable device like a watch or patch that is connected via Bluetooth. A sensor is implanted in the device which comes in contact with skin and captures the data related to a person’s biometric and physiological conditions. This data is transferred electronically to a cloud-based system for storage. The system is equipped to sound an alarm if the reading is out of a normal range and alert to remind for hydration, exercise, and medication.
Data related to heart/pulse rate, oxygen levels, blood glucose, and other critical information is tracked through RPm devices.
- Mobile App
A patient will download a mobile app where the data sourced from the RPM devices can be seen. These apps connect with cloud-based platforms and exchange data through secure API systems. The data integrity must follow the standards of FHIR when integrating it with healthcare providers’ telehealth portals.
A cloud repository to hold all the information that is transferred from patient’s side devices is used for storage. The data is analyzed through predictive tools that can organize it in clusters and arrange for meaningful insights that can save a patient from discovering an ailment at the initial phase.
Early-stage diagnosis helps in preventing major adversities for a patient and helps them gain back to health in due course.
With an increasing number of patients reporting better outcomes and experiences with their health conditions, exploring the options to design a good RPM program that can sync with a telehealth service provider’s platform will help the hospital achieve better clinical results.
RPM devices are set to improve medical aid compliance and reduce overhead costs as well in the future. With a higher number of clinicians accepting the role of RPM in managing their patient care model, it is a system that should be considered seriously.