Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is achieved by using the progress in the Information Technology for better healthcare.
Traditional healthcare always required the patient to visit a clinic or hospital and consult a doctor for health checkups and treatments for any problems. This takes time in terms of appointments for the doctor and the patient unless it is an emergency, and this would also require patient transportation. Although no healthcare system so far sacrificed patient care in any way, delays were inevitable. With the advent of RPM in healthcare, this is set to change significantly.
What Is Remote Patient Monitoring?
Remote Patient Monitoring is a method that helps in healthcare delivery using the latest advances in IT. This is almost taking the major part of healthcare to the patient doorsteps instead of the patient having to visit the clinic or hospital. Remote Patient Technology uses specific devices that gather information about patient health to be conveyed to the doctor with the desired regularity.
The devices used in RPM are similar to Smartphones and tabs but are built to gather measurement and connect up with a specific facility or a doctor for data transmission. Patients are trained to use these simple Bluetooth devices that transmit the physiological information to the doctor. The doctors then use this information to assess the patient condition and advise the next actions, medication, and care.
RPM monitors can also be used to set reminders about medication, exercises, diet, sleep or even instructions to fight anxiety. Depending on the choice, the RPM devices also support self-monitoring technology that helps patients take care of their health by themselves by going through instructions, flow charts, and other information. In the cases of Home Healthcare providers, the visiting nurses or medical staff could be assisted with the RPM technology located at the patient’s place.
The concept of RPM is made possible with the widespread availability of devices that provide physiological measurements to the doctors and the medical staff even from a remote location. This enables the patient’s condition assessment without requiring patient proximity.
Remote Patient Monitoring Technology is made up of five major parts as discussed below:
Devices that stay with the patients along with the sensors that not only provide a regular transmission of the patient conditions through data related to various parameters, but also provide assistance to the patients by providing reminders, alerts, prescriptions, communication with the doctor, and any self-assistance required. The patient can manually enter the data or else the sensors can automatically feed them into the device. These devices are the chief components that differentiate an RPM system from any other Telehealth system.
Local Data Storage:
For a given treatment cycle it is essential to hold the data related to the patient health parameters in the device (such as a USB device) or in a central repository to be extracted by the device whenever required.
The application on the patient’s device include diagnostic applications as it could be necessary in some cases such as heart patients. This might even advise a patient about the next steps to be taken.
Network and communication is another part of the solution that actually helps connect the Electronic Health Record (EHR ) system with the patient’s input device. The service providers often provide this network to establish the patient-doctor communication. There are different types of networks available and it is important to ensure the ability of the input device to connect to the network. This could be achieved via Wi-Fi, Wired or Mobile connection or in some cases Bluetooth connection of different generations and types.
Patient data is stored in EHR systems maintained by the clinics and the hospitals. This could be formed by one or more of data repositories applicable to a healthcare system. Healthcare software can use this data and provide the information to the medical practitioners related to the patient’s condition for diagnosis, medication, and treatment.
Remote Patient Monitoring – Benefits and Examples:
The benefits from a Remote Patient Health Monitoring system can be seen from two angles, the patient and the doctor. These benefits are rendered by a continuous share of health information update from the remote patient to the medical staff.
For the Patient:
Reduced lead time (required for appointments) and travel effort/time.
Timely detection and action for specific conditions which require quick attention.
Assisted and rapid diagnoses that may help arrive at logical conclusions.
Reduction in hospitalization and related time, effort, and costs.
Better adherence to the medication schedule.
Home or familiar premises may be more amenable for several patients than hospitals.
For the Doctor:
Continuous patient monitoring data streaming could provide near real-time patient supervision.
Balances out the workload and time; no need for rounds to assess patients in such cases.
Better utilization of medical resources such as the equipment, medical staff, and others.
For Others in Healthcare:
For healthcare providers, RPM systems could render an alternative to be offered to patients unwilling to visit the hospital premises frequently. Home healthcare providers can augment their services and optimize their services by letting part of the care to be rendered by RPM systems.
RPM system could find applications in numerous healthcare cases some of which are quoted below:
- Heart Patients: Recovering heart patients could require continuous monitoring to assess the conditions and quick care/medication. Devices which include heart resynchronization therapy and pacemakers are especially useful in preventing problems for heart patients. The diagnostic software combined with the device capabilities could almost double-up as a doctor in the vicinity.
- Senility or Dementia Problems: Old age people often suffer from senility and forgetfulness; this could bring some problems such as losing the way or such people falling down at some places. The surveillance and assistance provided by RPM devices could help such people; if these are GPS enabled, they could even help track their locations.
- Diabetes and Hypertension Control: Diabetic or high BP patients require continuous monitoring and control of blood pressure and blood sugar; this can be achieved by an RPM system that not only monitors but could also provide alerts for controlling them. The diagnostic software could provide not only the condition but even advice the diet control or medication necessary to bring the blood sugar to acceptable levels.
- Clinical Trials: In specific clinical trials, which may require long-term observation of the subjects during and after the trials, this may be achieved with the RPM systems.
Remote Patient Monitoring systems are especially useful because they let the patients live their life while at the same time afford constant medical attention. The need for visiting the clinic/doctor is pushed to only deserving cases. Offline or online RPM devices are effective patient companions at all times.
RPM systems can be used by even seemingly healthy people who may foresee health problems in the future. RPM systems will continue to evolve with increasing awareness, utilization and improving technologies.
Services provided by NamasteDoctor:
- With the use of Bluetooth blood pressure and blood glucose devices, we can monitor your blood pressure and blood glucose remotely which enhances the ability of your doctor to not only treat your blood pressure and blood glucose with appropriate medications but also reduce complications like stroke, heart attack and kidney failure and reduce hospitalizations saving you money
- If you have chronic heart condition, diabetes or high blood pressure and you are travelling, we can monitor your basic parameters using these devices. Our able doctors and nurses will stay in constant touch with you and call you using a audiovisual system if they notice any bad numbers during your travel
- Post discharge from hospital or post surgery, we can closely monitor your parameters in the luxury of your home using our devices
- Using special devices that can transmit vital information to your doctor, we can conduct efficient home visits in the comfort of your home. You can consult any specialist remotely from the comfort of your home using these special devices as if you were face to face with your physician. You don’t have wait times or worry about travel.