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5 Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring

10 minute read

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) has emerged as a significant innovation in healthcare, allowing continuous health tracking and management outside traditional clinical settings. In the face of medical crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, clinics and organizations can expect improved patient outcomes, lower healthcare costs, enhanced access to care, and a better overall patient experience. As healthcare evolves, RPM stands poised to significantly impact medical care delivery by leveraging connected devices and digital solutions to monitor patients remotely.

What is Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)?

To better understand this impact, let’s first understand what RPM is and how it works. 

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) refers to the use of technology to monitor patients' health outside of traditional healthcare settings, typically from their homes. It involves the use of connected devices, such as wearable sensors or mobile apps, to collect medical data from patients. This data is then transmitted securely to healthcare providers for assessment and intervention as needed. RPM allows for continuous monitoring of vital signs, symptoms, and other health indicators, enabling early detection of changes in a patient's condition.

RPM is used to enhance patient care by providing healthcare professionals with real-time data and insights into a patient's health status. It helps in managing chronic conditions more effectively, reducing the need for frequent in-person visits, and facilitating timely interventions based on data trends. By enabling proactive rather than reactive healthcare management, RPM aims to improve patient outcomes, increase patient satisfaction, and reduce healthcare costs associated with hospital admissions and emergency room visits.

Examples of Remote Patient Monitoring Devices

​​Glucose Meters: Glucose meters are used by individuals with diabetes to measure their blood sugar levels. They provide immediate feedback on glucose levels, helping patients manage their condition by adjusting diet, exercise, or medication.

Weight Monitors: Weight monitors track a person's weight over time. They are often used in managing obesity, heart disease, or other conditions where weight management is critical. They help individuals and healthcare providers monitor changes and make informed decisions about treatment plans.

Heart Rate Monitors: These devices measure a person's heart rate, either continuously or periodically. They are valuable for monitoring cardiovascular health, assessing exercise intensity, and detecting irregularities in heart rhythm.

Spirometer: A spirometer measures lung function by assessing the volume of air inhaled and exhaled. It's commonly used in managing respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or following lung surgeries.

Blood Pressure Monitors: Blood pressure monitors measure the force of blood against the walls of arteries. They are crucial for managing hypertension (high blood pressure) and preventing related complications like heart disease or stroke.

Surveillance/Tracking Monitors: These monitors track various health parameters continuously, such as activity levels, sleep patterns, or environmental factors like temperature or humidity. They provide comprehensive data for ongoing health monitoring and intervention.

At-home Tests and Logs: These include various tests patients can perform at home, such as urine tests, blood tests (e.g., for cholesterol levels), or monitoring symptoms like pain levels or mood changes. Logs help patients and healthcare providers track trends and manage conditions more effectively.

1. Reduce Risk of Disease Transmission

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Inc. (HIMSS) argues that remote patient monitoring is necessary for COVID-19 patients in many circumstances. “For patients who test positive for COVID-19, home-based monitoring for symptom escalation can help reduce the risk of transmission and can target the provision of hospital-based care on a timely basis, should the need arise,” according to HIMSS News.

2. Free Up Limited Hospital Resources

The COVID-19 pandemic has put immense strain on hospitals across the United States and throughout many countries across the globe. With shortages of hospital staff and available beds, being able to remotely monitor patients at home frees up the limited resources for the most serious cases.

3. Faster Access to Better Patient Data

Connected health devices used in remote patient monitoring give healthcare providers faster access to accurate patient data. Such devices include implantable devices, biometric sensors, pulse oximeters, blood pressure cuffs, glucometers, and more. When incorporated into remote patient monitoring solutions, these devices and the data they provide can help accelerate diagnoses and facilitate timely treatment plan changes.

4. Improved Patient Outcomes

Many studies have shown that the use of remote patient monitoring solutions results in patients experiencing a lower risk of rehospitalization and mortality across various medical use cases, including implanted cardiac defibrillators.

5. Cost Savings

Reduced hospital readmissions, fewer in-person visits, and avoiding Affordable Care Act (ACA) penalties related to readmission are all obvious cost-savers for healthcare providers. Remote patient monitoring solutions bring a strong ROI in conjunction with improved patient outcomes as healthcare costs for patients and providers continue to rise. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) understands these benefits and makes remote patient monitoring even more cost-effective thanks to updated CPT codes for reimbursements.

Remote Patient Monitoring Challenges

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) encounters several challenges that affect its effectiveness and adoption. Firstly, technical hurdles include ensuring devices work together seamlessly, securing patient data during transmission, and maintaining reliability across different networks. These factors can disrupt integration into existing healthcare systems and compromise the accuracy of health data.

Secondly, RPM must navigate complex regulatory landscapes to ensure compliance with stringent healthcare regulations like HIPAA. Meeting these standards is critical for protecting patient privacy and safety, but it can also complicate the development and deployment of RPM technologies across various regions. Additionally, sustaining patient engagement and adherence remains a challenge. While RPM offers convenience by monitoring patients remotely, ensuring consistent patient participation requires user-friendly interfaces, ongoing education, and support systems. Overcoming these challenges demands collaboration among healthcare providers, technology developers, regulators, and patients to maximize RPM's potential benefits effectively.

Common Applications of RPM

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is widely applied across various medical specialties to enhance patient care and management. Three notable use cases include cardiology for hypertension management with blood pressure monitors, pulmonology for COPD management using respiratory monitors, and endocrinology focusing on diabetes management with glucose monitors.

In cardiology, RPM plays a crucial role in managing hypertension by utilizing blood pressure monitors that allow continuous tracking of patients' blood pressure levels outside clinical settings. This constant monitoring enables healthcare providers to adjust medications promptly and provide personalized treatment plans based on real-time data. By empowering patients to monitor their blood pressure regularly, RPM promotes proactive management and reduces the risk of cardiovascular complications.

In pulmonology, RPM is instrumental in managing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma. Respiratory monitors track vital lung function metrics such as airflow and oxygen saturation, providing insights into disease progression and response to treatment. Patients can use these devices at home to monitor their respiratory health between clinic visits, facilitating early intervention and improving overall disease management outcomes.

For endocrinology, RPM transforms diabetes management by offering continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) alongside traditional glucose testing methods. CGMs provide real-time data on glucose levels throughout the day, offering a more comprehensive view of a patient's glycemic control compared to periodic blood tests alone. This technology enables timely adjustments to insulin dosages, dietary plans, and lifestyle modifications, leading to better glycemic control and reducing the risk of diabetes-related complications.

Remote Patient Monitoring Best Practices

  1. Conduct Needs Assessment: Begin by assessing the specific healthcare needs and goals that RPM will address, considering both patient and provider perspectives to tailor the technology deployment effectively.
  2. Select Appropriate Technology: Choose RPM devices and platforms that align with clinical requirements, patient capabilities, and integration capabilities with existing healthcare IT systems to ensure seamless operation and data flow.
  3. Ensure Data Security and Privacy: Implement robust security measures to protect patient health information during transmission, storage, and access, complying with relevant data protection regulations such as HIPAA or GDPR.
  4. Provide Training and Support: Offer comprehensive training to healthcare staff on RPM technology use, maintenance, and troubleshooting. Additionally, educate patients on device functionality, data interpretation, and the importance of adherence to monitoring protocols.
  5. Foster Patient Engagement: Encourage active patient participation through clear communication, user-friendly interfaces, and ongoing support. Engage patients in their care by emphasizing the benefits of RPM for improved health outcomes and quality of life.
  6. Monitor and Evaluate: Continuously monitor RPM data to identify trends, intervene early in case of deviations, and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment plans. Regularly assess patient satisfaction and outcomes to refine RPM strategies as needed.
  7. Stay Updated with Regulations: Stay informed about evolving healthcare regulations and standards related to RPM, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and maintaining patient trust in data privacy and security.

Implementing these best practices ensures that RPM programs are effectively integrated into clinical workflows, enhance patient care, and optimize healthcare delivery outcomes while adhering to ethical and regulatory standards.

Ensuring RPM Success

Experiencing the benefits of remote patient monitoring requires a deployment strategy that is focused on security and scalability. Securing connected health devices should be top of mind, as malicious attacks targeting telehealth are on the rise.  

A partner that understands the complexity of connected health for remote patient monitoring can help simplify the complex deployment process. KORE manages the complete connected health device lifecycle, enabling you to efficiently manage and scale your RPM deployments.

Download the whitepaper, “Remote Patient Monitoring: Steady Revenue for Healthcare, Better Patient Outcomes” to learn how CPT codes can help broaden remote patient monitoring use and how to ensure successful deployments.


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