How is Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) being used and applied in healthcare, and what conditions is RPM being used for?
How is Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) used today?
Remote Patient Monitoring, or RPM has many applications within a large variety of healthcare fields. In the United States, providers are already putting RPM technology to effective use in the treatment of some of the country’s most prevalent conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, obesity, high blood pressure and many other high-occurrence diseases.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) helps providers and patients manage disease through the use of cellular or Bluetooth-enabled biometric monitoring devices that continuously and accurately collect and analyze health data. These devices can effectively track and analyze many critical metrics for patient health, including blood pressure, glucose levels, changes in weight and symptoms of allergic reactions.
Whatever condition is being treated with Remote Patient Monitoring, all RPM applications share the same core function: they enable effective healthcare, without patients ever stepping foot into a clinical setting.
What Technology is Used for RPM?
Various forms of telecommunications technologies are used in providing remote patient monitoring services. This includes a variety of cellular and Bluetooth-enabled devices, all of which are capable of collecting, transmitting, and analyzing patient health data.
These devices vary greatly based on the condition being treated, and can range from phones, tablets, vital sign monitors, health wearables, and other forms of technology. However, what all these remote monitoring devices have in common is that they are all uniquely capable of transmitting and analyzing critical patient health data on a 24/7 basis, and completely external from a clinical setting.
Today, the best devices and systems used to implement effective Remote Patient Monitoring, such as those used in Accuhealth’s RPM solution, provide 24/7 observation, alerting, and clinical support.
Managing Chronic Conditions with RPM
Remote Patient Monitoring has many applications across current healthcare practices, and enormous potential to improve care in nearly all fields of medicine. However, perhaps nowhere are the benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring more evident than in the management of chronic conditions.
Nearly half of the entire population of the United States is affected by at least one chronic disease (if not multiple chronic conditions). This category of conditions includes some of our country’s greatest health challenges, such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, asthma and other predominant diseases.
Chronic conditions also account for the highest expenditures and burdens on our healthcare system. These costs are incurred due to frequent, avoidable urgent care visits, over-extension of clinical resources, and a lack of uninterrupted data coming from patients.
Traditional methods of treating these conditions fall short of Remote Patient Monitoring solutions. This is simply due to the nature of these diseases, which necessitate continual medical oversight. Unlike other care models, RPM can collect enormous amounts of actionable patient health data in real-time. This data is not only continuously transmitted to clinical teams, but the RPM devices themselves are equipped to alert both patients and providers when health vitals indicate potential risk.
This transforms treatment of chronic conditions into a more compatible care model, and provides real-world benefits and improved health outcomes for patients.
Diabetes management is an excellent example of applied RPM. People suffering from diabetes are often required to use remote patient monitoring devices that instantly and consistently track their blood glucose levels. Devices and platforms such as Accuhealth’s take this a step further, allowing both patients and doctors to receive health alerts when patient readings show irregularities.
This is accomplished through the use of a 4G LTE connected glucometer that sends data directly from patients to doctors in real-time. This advanced form of RPM helps to prevent common complications that occur from irregular glucose levels, and lowers the risk of experiencing an emergency by identifying problems before they become critical. For the 1 in 10 Americans suffering from diabetes, RPM isn’t just convenient, it’s lifesaving.
Another significant example of RPM application is seen in the advancements made in the treatment of hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. With 1 in 3 people in the US experiencing hypertension throughout their lives, managing this disease is a top priority within America’s medical field.
Hypertension often has no visible symptoms, which points to why most people are not aware when their blood pressure levels reach critical levels. This makes it difficult to adequately manage the disease, and leads to more frequent instances of life-threatening issues amongst these patients, including high occurrences of heart attacks and strokes.
Fortunately, the realities of treating high blood pressure fit perfectly with the benefits Remote Patient Monitoring provides. Traditionally, patients with hypertension are required to go to clinical settings to have their blood pressure assessed, and are then made to manually record their levels at home. In reality, this format of care frequently results in missed readings and recurring misinterpretations of data, which increases the risk of emergencies.
Today, RPM provides a much better solution: around the clock monitoring and data transmission of blood pressure readings, all without leaving the house. With this model, the tedious and often inaccurate process of patients manually noting and tracking biometric readings is removed, lowering risk and empowering both patients and providers in managing and improving health.
Other Remote Patient Monitoring Applications
RPM has made strides in the treatment of many other common conditions. Some notable applications include in pre-natal care, with an especially common usage during instances of gestational diabetes. Due to the high-risk nature of gestational diabetes for both babies and mothers, these patients need to be constantly aware of their glucose levels and other critical vitals on a 24/7 basis. The ability for RPM to assess and prevent issues related to this condition is quickly making remote monitoring the new normal for GDM patients.
In the treatment of asthma, Remote Patient Monitoring technologies such as wearable devices, digital inhalers, and access to specialized resources are just some of the many ways remote care is contributing to the easier, at-a-distance management of asthmatic conditions.
Remote care technology is also helping many Americans tackle the national health crisis of obesity. Telehealth technologies are continuously showing positive results in combatting weight gain. Research demonstrates that RPM is in fact successful in encouraging and ensuring compliance to physician-designed personal action plans that are truly effective.
The applications of Remote Patient Monitoring are practically endless. Remote Patient Monitoring is now both advanced, and accessible for clinics and healthcare systems of all sizes across the country. Patients and providers in the United States can now easily and quickly participate in remote patient monitoring programs of their own, with just a click of a button.
To access more resources about Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM), visit accuhealth.tech