Modern healthcare providers are revolutionizing healthcare delivery with telehealth monitoring to empower patients to take control of their health. It involves using advanced technologies like Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) to collect health-related data such as blood pressure, heart rate, and medication adherence and pass it on to healthcare providers in real-time. It’s a win-win for all concerned because patients do not have to commute to the clinic every time, while healthcare providers can decide when to intervene and make timely adjustments to treatment plans.
The use of RPM saw a massive surge during the pandemic, and as per a study, RPM claim volume increased by a whopping 1,294 percent between January 2019 and November 2022. Top companies like Cadence, Current Health, BioIntelliSense, Biofourmis, Stel Life, and Health Recovery Solutions quickly expanded their portfolio by integrating a wide range of RPM devices, care-at-home programs, and chronic care management services.
Healthcare providers are leaning on remote patient monitoring tools to track the progress of those suffering from high-cost chronic diseases. But that’s not the only reason, as Hayden Schmidt, assistant researcher at Xtelligent Healthcare Media, explains, “The second reason people were adopting RPM tools was to maintain a better overall record of their patient’s health. These tools record tons of information and can help a provider understand where a patient stands and how they’re doing with some of their chronic diseases.”
The future holds much potential for remote patient monitoring as it continues to improve the patient experience even in challenging situations. Let’s dig deeper to know how it’s transforming the healthcare landscape.
RPM is now the New Standard of Care
Healthcare leaders worldwide agree that the industry’s future depends on patient-centric experiences, and those who fail to offer them will risk losing market share. The primary reason for this shift is the change in patient behavior observed during the pandemic, wherein individuals assumed greater responsibility for managing their health. Here’s what has been observed in recent times:
- The Pandemic has made a huge impact – COVID-19 has been the catalyst of change, and consumers are now controlling care through apps and telemedicine. Telehealth use grew by 38X in 2021 as compared to the pre-COVID-19 baseline. The pandemic exposed deficiencies in existing systems that have forced healthcare companies to revisit their offerings. Nearly 98% of clinical leaders have implemented or are planning to implement virtual health practices for some or all nonprocedural visits, and many are seeking training in this area to deliver uncompromised care.
- Health awareness is at an all-time high – Consumers are more aware now, with nearly two-thirds of those aged 14 to 22 reportedly using health-related apps. Wearables and apps for calorie counting, meditation, and exercise tracking have become extremely popular. Smartwatches dominated the connected wearable devices markets, and their shipments worldwide are expected to go beyond 400 million in 2026. Ear-worn or hearable devices are also gaining popularity, and the shipments of such devices are expected to go up to 394 million units by 2026.
- The consumer has evolved – The patient is no longer a passive care recipient but wants to be seen, heard, and involved in the entire care journey. For the best possible outcomes, it is imperative that patients wholeheartedly participate in care decisions and processes. Patient activation and engagement are important as they ensure patients’ willingness and ability to take independent actions regarding their health and care. They also encourage preventative behaviors such as being proactive about follow-ups, diagnostic tests, immunizations, and annual appointments.
- Self-management is now the key – There is a need to create a broader digital front door for healthcare with services like on-demand virtual urgent care that allows patients to have a remote consultation quickly to address immediate concerns. Remote patient monitoring for chronic condition checks and behavioral health (for instance, virtual psychotherapy sessions), along with an omnichannel care model, is the need of the hour. Convenience, access, and continuity of care remain top priorities. Patients always seek transparency in treatment methods, billing & payments, or insurance plans. They genuinely want is transparent, easy-to-understand information that can empower them to make better decisions.
- Tech-enabled remote patient monitoring is fast becoming the norm. Self-service tools for patient education and telehealth oversight of staff have proven groundbreaking in elevating the patient experience. While patients can learn to manage and monitor some of the symptoms independently, doctors also get an opportunity to oversee the staff delivering care remotely. For instance, an oncologist can use remote patient monitoring tools to see how a nurse provides chemotherapy treatment to a patient at home and plan the future course of action accordingly. Smart technologies are playing a key role in enabling the delivery of personalized healthcare solutions. Interoperable data provides relevant information about patients enabling artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure greater engagement and personalization based on their personalities, motivations, and challenges.
5G paves the path for holistic, data-driven personalized care
5G is all set to give the healthcare industry the impetus it needs with massive connection power and super-fast speed. It, of course, means greater efficacy and bandwidth for remote consultations and remote patient monitoring. With the increase in Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) devices, 5G will mean better clinical outcomes and efficient monitoring with wearables, medicine monitoring, smart pills, smart implants, disability assistant devices, ECG devices, Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS), point-of-care devices, and other components of the connected infrastructure.
Healthcare organizations can look forward to real-time, predictive, and prescriptive insights while having a firmer grip on costs, resource management, and operational efficiency. Empowered with technology, we are making great strides toward a connected healthcare ecosystem forging new pathways for virtual training (enabled by virtual and augmented reality), virtual consultations, video-enabled prescription management, and real-time remote patient monitoring.
Verizon, leaning on its 5G experience, has partnered with BlueJeans Telehealth to offer intelligent video telehealth experiences and drive better patient interactions. This collaboration will make virtual care accessible, inclusive, and comprehensive through data-driven enhancements and integrations. The easy-to-use platform with high-quality video streaming will offer medical professionals seamless capabilities and tools to address the growing needs of patients.
RPM is the Gateway to the End-to-End Patient Journey
Remote patient monitoring comes with incredible benefits that continue to get better with technology. It’s for all, irrespective of the severity of the medical condition. As Dr. Saurabh Chandra, director of telehealth at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), says, “Any patient who has chronic disease is a patient who would benefit from RPM.” As per a study, 72.5% of RPM patients comply with care plans, and only 9.4% had to be readmitted within 30 days, as against 20% of non-RPM patients.
Here are the top benefits that make an RPM system an absolute must-have in care journeys:
- Better access to healthcare, including treatments, professionals, and services.
- A boon for those residing in rural areas who cannot travel frequently for specialty care.
- Improved quality of care due to a more holistic understanding of specific patient health conditions.
- Greater control over health due to instant and constant analysis available through user-friendly apps and devices.
- Personalized support and engagement ensure that patients continue to stick to their treatment plans.
- Lower cost of healthcare with an improvement in overall well-being due to effective prevention.
- Fewer in-person visits and hospitalization due to real-time data and alerts for diagnosis and self-monitoring that help prevent potentially dangerous situations.
- Reduction in errors pertaining to diagnosis or treatment often made by staff members due to stress or fatigue.
A robust RPM system will typically include the following:
- A medical device or wearable to collect patient data.
- A patient-side mobile app to transmit data to the clinical staff.
- A cloud repository that receives all the raw patient-generated data.
- Healthcare provider software analyzes the data to help professionals predict risks and make informed treatment decisions.
Medicine 2.0 and the Future of Healthcare
Medicine 2.0 involves using web-based tools & technologies and social media to enhance healthcare and lead us to a more evolved care journey. It thrives on the following principles to make it patient-centered, collaborative, and efficient:
- Networking – To connect patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers online through social networks.
- Participation – To encourage patients to participate in their care and manage their health using online tools.
- Apomediation – To foster communication between patients and healthcare providers via telemedicine and remote patient monitoring services and technologies.
- Collaboration – To promote collaboration among patients and all healthcare ecosystem stakeholders to share data and enhance patient outcomes.
- Openness – To promote transparency and openness to help patients make informed decisions pertaining to treatments, outcomes, and costs.
As we take steps toward the future, it’s time to unlock the potential and value of remote patient monitoring. It’s the most effective way to enhance care delivery and build a patient-centric healthcare model. Trigent believes that care revolves around people, not place, and it is essential that we deliver it where it is needed the most. Be it empowering patients to manage health or adapting your workflows to accommodate remote patient monitoring, our technology experts can help you transform patient care quickly and effectively with the right RPM solutions.
We offer a host of solutions and remote patient monitoring services to help build high-performance telehealth platforms for zero-buffering video consultations and deliver personalized patient-centric healthcare at home. These include virtual healthcare platforms, enterprise security for remote access, patient self-service/monitoring apps, mobile app development, data processing for unstructured data from wearables, data ops for cleansing & cloud storage, patient data security, privacy, data visualization, and web/mobile chatbots.