Covid-19Health ITRemote Patient Monitoring: Playing An Increasingly Important Role In Healthcare

Technology has changed every aspect of our lives, including the way that health care providers administer care to their patients. For instance, the introduction of telemedicine offers a number of benefits for health care providers and their patients. Telemedicine is being used in a variety of ways, including the facilitation of remote patient monitoring (RPM).

While RPM has existed for several decades, it has recently grown in scope and importance. RPM involves using technology to oversee patient’s health from locations outside a health care system or hospital. A variety of devices can track different health parameters and securely transmit that information back to the health care provider, where it is stored in electronic health records (EHRs) and used to monitor the patient’s health.

There is a growing number of RPM devices available, including blood pressure cuffs; blood glucose monitors (glucometers); spirometers to measure lung function; and scales that can help track water retention in people who have heart disease. Patients can learn how to use their devices and safely transmit the data through easy-to-use applications over a secure connection.

The use of remote patient monitoring is likely to continue to expand. Why? First, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred the desire for telemedicine and remote care. Second, the number of people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure also continues to grow. Third, physicians like the fact that they can monitor patients’ health in real time, and patients like the fact they can make fewer visits to their doctors’ offices.

Finally, RPM is effective. Research has shown that remote monitoring can help reduce blood pressure more significantly than self-monitoring alone. Other research has proven that RPM can help improve asthma control in patients, as well as decrease the use of rescue medication.

Another benefit is that more insurers are covering RPM. RPM may help offset the shortage of physicians — especially as the population continues to grow. The number of older adults who require medical attention continues to increase at an even faster rate, which will only exacerbate the demands placed on health care providers.

RPM can help patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) manage their conditions and improve their quality of life. The accompanying resource includes more information about the growing use of remote patient monitoring technology. Courtesy of Pivot Point Consulting.

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