RPM is currently an evolving trend with a future that doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Now, this technology has shown an improvement in a patient’s quality of care within the medical field. It uses spans onsite locations like hospitals and clinics, along with patients at their homes and even remote areas far from a hospital.
Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring (or ‘RPM’) have taken a considerable step for patients looking to get care outside of the traditional hospital setting. This technology is increasing in use, with North America being the number one user and Asian countries quickly catching up. Many medical providers, whether Fortune 500 technology companies or startups are reviewing new devices and products that will soon revolutionize the medical care industry. This new tech also helps streamline costs as it reduces the admission rates in hospitals. This allows patients in rural or remote areas to get the care that they need without having to drive long distances to see their provider.
Seeing the Bigger Picture
Within 2020 alone, global remote monitoring systems have been forecasted to reach $46 billion in its value. This was highly driven by the overall need to reduce healthcare spending. As this technology continues to evolve, some believe the (IoT) Internet of Things will play a crucial role in these industries. This could also play a part in creating an expanded ecosystem of connected healthcare. Therefore, IoT may redefine how devices, apps, and people connect and interact with each other when it comes to delivering healthcare solutions. This will see a continued rise in benefits like reduced costs, improved outcomes alongside disease management, and overall enhanced patient experience.
With IoT, there are key market drivers within the RPM field that should be taken into consideration. With these trends, there are some overlapping as they span two crucial areas. These are the proliferation of data and the smart, connected products that are used in the industry.
Trend: Aging Populace that is Vulnerable to Chronic Disease
This trend is driving the market forward and at a fast pace. As the world’s population ages, those who live longer want to enjoy their good health. Longer life may also include the challenges of a longer span of living with a chronic disease. This inevitably puts a strain on resources and the healthcare system. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people age 65 or older are estimated to grow in 2010 from 524 million to around 1.5 billion in 2050. This will require a diverse healthcare workforce that will be effective in diagnosing and treating complex medical conditions.
Trend: A Focus Shift to Value-Based and Patient-Centric
According to many analysts in the healthcare industry, many companies are moving forward into value-based care. This focus has shifted financial incentives so providers will be compensated on how their patients fare. This is in comparison to visits, tests, and ant procedures that were performed. It has now become focused on the quality of care and not quantity. This is where RPM comes into play with new technology and devices that could make a significant impact on patient care.
As these technologies emerge, the ability to offer more value to a patient, a provider can benefit by using 24/7 monitoring to adjust a patient’s treatment. The payer avoids additional costs due to prolonged recovery or treatment. These technologies enhance a patient’s quality of care by making data gathering easier.
Trend: Healthcare Data has a Significant Impact on the Medical Industry
Data is fueling the healthcare market and industry. This data is one of the biggest trends to emerge due to RPM, things like precision medicine, machine learning, and predictive analysis are potentially having an impact on healthcare. This data can range from neurology, oncology, genomics, cardiology, and more specialties. There are more personalized therapies and a more comprehensive range of diagnostic tools available. With a new generation of devices and even apps that collect information, patient-specific data is becoming increasingly available through such things as home monitors, smartphones, and other wearables.
The power of data is the center of every part of healthcare. This includes research, a patient’s daily life, any ongoing care, along with preventive and predictive measures. This trend will see as having the potential to make for an improved and personalized patient care and see a reduction in cost, which can potentially lead to better care for the patient. These remote monitoring systems help collect all this information and will play a role in analyzing this data in healthcare.
Trend: Internet’s Role in Remote Monitoring and Healthcare Apps
This allows patients and providers to work together for better management of chronic disease and better communication. With integration in IoT functions in medical devices, this can potentially improve the healthcare’s quality and effectiveness. This is especially helpful in bringing better care to elderly patients that have chronic conditions or require constant supervision.
IoT has generated a growing interest in healthcare services with wearable medical devices that have features like actuators, sensors, and other mobile communication abilities, so the patient’s data can be monitored continuously. This also allows this data to be transmitted to cloud-based platforms, which in turn alerts providers of any change in a patient’s vital signs. These devices can monitor all types of patient behavior along with smart dispensers that can alert a provider to make sure a patient is adequately medicated.
Trend: Wearable Technology is Driving RPM Growth and Innovation
As technology in RPM advances, so do the wearable devices that monitor a patient. This can lead to better help for the patients by allowing providers to make more informed decisions. Some of these RPM devices include remote monitoring of vital and sleep statistics, gloves with implanted Bluetooth sensors that help patients who’ve had a stroke regain mobility in their hands, glucose monitoring, temperature monitoring for babies and young children, cancer patients, postoperative patients, and even seniors, headbands or earbuds for discomfort measuring in an EEG system for pain management, wearable tech like smartwatches that will recognize sleep apnea, and smart glasses that can help the blind.
As more devices are developed, the main challenge is ensuring that these devices can collect and share data. They will need to have reliable communication and protect data from unauthorized sources. RPM technologies will continue to grow and will even be strengthened as more opportunities open in the industry. While these trends show an improvement in patient care, new challenges like design and creating advanced sensor technology solutions are still present.
This RPM technology is designed to collect data, and more modern solutions are entering the market to help patients and providers in care and support. It’s easier now than ever for RPM technology to collect a patient’s health data. It’s also simpler for a provider to see this information and act on it, which will reduce healthcare costs and any readmission into a hospital. With this new technology in RPM, the healthcare industry is entering into a new digital era and will see this as a catalyst for change and future innovation in patient care.