Digital Themes

Remote Patient Monitoring

What is Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)?

Remote patient monitoring or remote physiologic monitoring is a healthcare service that is virtual and digital and plays a significant role in delivering superior outcomes for patients. It uses digital technologies to capture medical data and personal health records from a patient in one location and electronically sends the data to a physician operating from within a healthcare facility. Healthcare teams can create timely and efficient care management plans using real-time data from RPM-connected devices. RPM allows data-driven insights to shape better health outcomes for patients who require care between doctor’s visits or when at-home care can be medically beneficial. 

Vital signs and biometric data - such as heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels – can be monitored by medical teams in their primary care centers with RPM-connected devices. This allows patients to recover at home from medical treatments post-surgery and/or illnesses while maintaining continuous care. Health care teams receive and track essential updates on a patient’s post-surgery condition to ensure the best surgical outcomes. 

Patients with long-term diseases can use RPM programs for consistent treatment management to limit the severity of medical flare-ups and lessen the chance of emergency care due to increased engagement with their healthcare provider. Providers obtain analytical reports of the patient’s health metrics and can make quick decisions for better and more convenient routine care. 

Healthcare providers can also use RPM-connected devices, such as wearables, to monitor urgent medical needs with hospital-at-home programs. Nurses can provide at-home care when needed and continual monitoring of health data from a practitioner’s healthcare facility, providing vital care before symptoms lead to long-term health problems.   

How Does RPM Work?

A provider detects a condition that can be managed remotely and builds protocols for an RPM program that includes the prescribed vital health data parameters – such as weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar. The provider determines the appropriate patient population and provides devices that correlate to conditions approved for at-home monitoring. The patient receives directions for the specific device allocated to monitor the prescribed health concern. The device is usually electronically connected via a cellular or Bluetooth network. 

Healthcare providers analyze data transmitted from connected devices and use the results to create guidelines that promote preventive health measures to keep patients engaged in their overall health status. Diagnostic devices are electronically connected to RPM programs, such as pulse oximeters, spirometers, ECG machines, activity tracking wearables, and blood glucose meters. These devices keep care teams updated on the patient’s overall health status and provide them with information to target behaviors that improve health outcomes. 

Why RPM Will Be The Future Of Healthcare

Using RPM to treat chronic diseases can make healthcare less reactive and more cost-efficient. Common chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease can be better managed with symptom monitoring and provider guidance, giving patients the ability to learn about an unknown health issue before it leads to more invasive and costly care methods. 

Emerging technologies that support electronically connected care routines have bolstered RPM usage and helped improve the regulatory push to expand access to health management plans that use RPM connected devices. 

Clinical evidence from the Mayo Clinic has shown that hospital-at-home care for COVID-19 patients enrolled in an RPM program has low emergency room visits and mortality rates. RPM devices for post-COVID-19 care have improved the overall health status of patients due to more ownership over care management, allowing better adherence to health protocols that shape positive outcomes.

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) can benefit patients and providers in the following ways:

For Patients:

  • Improved quality of care – RPM allows providers to gain a complete picture of a patient’s overall health, making diagnostics more accessible and faster. Despite physical barriers, patients gain access to care, allowing fewer emergency visits. Real-time updates allow for those with acute and chronic medical needs to keep symptoms under control. 
  • Personalized Health - Those with comorbidities or post-surgical recovery have access to health updates that allow for improved lifestyle choices. Instant analysis of health data can lead patients to adjust medications or recognize abnormal developments. 

For Providers:

  • Improved clinical decision making – RPM improves clinical insight and gives healthcare providers data that allows for proactive care delivery. Providers can quickly identify health trends and adjust treatment plans to real-time medical needs. 
  • Reduced medical costs - Healthcare organizations that leverage RPM can cut costs associated with the effects of significant health conditions like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. RPM allows patients to monitor chronic conditions, making preventative care an everyday activity by accessing essential health data. Patients who take ownership of their health, whether symptom management or lifestyle changes, have fewer doctor visits, shorter hospital stays, and are less likely to need costly surgeries or medical treatments.
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