There has been an impressive increase in the use of remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices over the past few years and this trend is forecasted to grow at about 12.5% annually over the next decade as there are several benefits of remote patient monitoring. This trend is predictable given the increase in the aging population, the high costs of treating patients in hospitals, and the tremendous pressure exerted by COVID-19 on hospitals.
With the advent of the pandemic, many healthcare providers started tracking symptoms and vital signs of both coronavirus and non-coronavirus patients remotely. The future of remote patient monitoring looks promising indeed. Read on if you are interested in a resource on remote patient monitoring.
What is Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)?
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) refers to the monitoring of a patient's health data from a distance through the use of health monitoring devices. These remote patient monitoring devices record a patient's health data and transmit it to a healthcare provider who can then analyze it and track the health of the patient remotely and 24/7. Using RPM systems and technology, healthcare providers can track a patient's health through the health data they receive electronically from the patient's health monitoring devices and, based on this data, can perform assessments and provide recommendations.
This article serves as a resource & comprehensive guide to how remote patient monitoring works.
How Does Remote Patient Monitoring Work?
There have been several advances in remote patient monitoring technology over the past decade. Patient monitoring & telehealth have gained prominence and the importance of remote patient monitoring cannot be understated.
These are the following steps involved in remote patient monitoring -
Health Data Collection
The process of setting up a remote patient monitoring system starts with activating the patient health monitoring device. These medical devices usually have a Bluetooth module with which they communicate with the patient's mobile app that collects the data from the device. Modern devices can collect a wealth of information right from heart rate and oxygen levels to blood pressure and more. These are either sensors placed under the skin or wearable devices like a Fitbit or Apple watch. These devices record health information and communicate this information to healthcare providers through, most often, dedicated remote patient monitoring applications present on smartphones as mobile apps. The following are the types of RPM devices approved by the FDA -
- Electronic Thermometers
- Electrocardiographs (Ecgs)
- Cardiac Monitors
- Apnea Monitors
- Electroencephalographs (Eegs)
- Blood Pressure Monitors
- Breathing Frequency Monitors
- Electronic Stethoscopes
Health Data Transmission
Once the health data has been recorded by the RPM device and sent to the dedicated mobile app on the smartphone, it needs to be transmitted to the respective healthcare provider. In modern times, there has been a drastic improvement in the accuracy of the health data collected and the efficiency in which this data can be transmitted to the respective hospital or healthcare provider. Modern remote patient monitors can also analyze real-time data more accurately to detect abnormal or irregular readings quicker and more precisely. The health data is then transmitted to the healthcare facility using the latest technology like the internet, text, or phone.
The healthcare facility also needs to have a web application through which it receives and "sees" the patient's health data. This application needs to comply with HIPAA regulations and interoperability rules.
Health Data Evaluation and Notification
The data that is collected from the patient's RPM device is stored in the cloud or the healthcare facility's data repository. This data on vital signs is then automatically or manually compared to the upper and lower (threshold) values set by a physician. If the threshold value is breached, the RPM system at the healthcare facility triggers a notification that generates a warning message and alerts a physician that there is an abnormal situation. This notification to the doctor can be through an SMS, in-app notification, or email.
Many RPM systems also have an analytics module that leverages data visualization tools and BI technology to provide physicians and patients with real-time measurements. These tools can also be leveraged by the healthcare provider to visualize patterns and trends in the patient's healthcare data. Using this data, physicians can predict risky events and outcomes and make better-informed decisions on the best possible course of treatment.
Once a notification has been triggered, the RPM system, nurses, or physicians send an alert to emergency responders if it is required. If the health data shows that a patient requires immediate medical attention, the relevant authorities are notified and immediate assistance is provided. However, if the data only indicates that only a change in the treatment is required, the physician can make the appropriate decision and communicate this information to the patient via various forms of communication like email, phone, or in-app notifications. The physician can also advise on how to prevent similar adverse events from happening again in the future.
Outsource Remote Patient Monitoring Services to Flatworld Solutions and Enhance the Productivity of Your Practice
Flatworld Solutions is a leading outsourcing company that offers highly cost-effective, reliable, secure, and professional remote patient monitoring services to a global and diverse clientele. With us by your side, you can ensure that all the patient data is being accurately recorded, consolidated, and analyzed to ensure that all warning signs and adverse events are duly identified and made available to the appropriate authorities. We are an effective guide to remote patient monitoring and work tirelessly to ensure that our clients can provide the best possible care to their patients at all times.
If you are looking for highly reliable and professional remote patient services, contact us now to take a productive route to success.
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