RPM uses electronic devices or digital technology to collect and monitor patient-generated health data and transmit it to their healthcare professionals for diagnosis, evaluation, and recommendations.
When a patient uses a home blood pressure monitor to check their blood pressure regularly, the data are sent to their doctor digitally and automatically. Patients’ acute and chronic illnesses may be tracked, reported on, and analyzed using remote patient monitoring outside of the clinical setting.
How Does RPM Work?
The collection, storage, and accessibility of data and the interpretation and display of medical data are essential components of a remote health monitoring system. To accurately diagnose a patient’s medical condition, one must analyze a wide range of medical records over a lengthy period. The usage of data mining and visualization for remote monitoring devices has grown in recent years, even though these techniques were already in use.
Traditional healthcare procedures face a threat from computerized remote health monitoring devices. RPM can be much more intelligent, agile, and interoperable if it incorporates the IoT concept.
The Internet of Things (IoT) technology enables an item to be identified and tracked at any given time, regardless of where it is located. In addition to performing typical sensing duties, IoT-based remote health monitoring systems may also exchange data. It is also capable of exchanging information to connect and share data with medical institutions through the Internet.
As a result, it significantly reduces the time it takes to set up and manage the system. If there’s a severe accident involving a monitored patient, such systems may send an automated alert to the nearest medical personnel.
- Telehealth vs. Remote Patient Monitoring
The word “telehealth” encompasses the whole field of remote medical treatment. Video conferencing, phone calls, and other forms of communication are all included in telehealth. Telehealth is a broad term that encompasses several types of remote monitoring systems.
Your company doesn’t have to provide a complete range of telehealth services to implement RPM. Adding a remote patient monitoring service to your current team may be done as a stand-alone service.
- Remote Patient Monitoring vs. Patient Monitoring
Although the terms “remote patient monitoring” and “patient monitoring” can be used interchangeably, there is a significant distinction between the two. The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) notes that “traditionally, patient monitoring systems have been used in healthcare institutions, in controlled conditions,” simplifying RPM vs. patient monitoring.
However, remote patient monitoring (RPM) differs because the monitoring equipment is installed at the patient’s house rather than in a medical facility. There are numerous applications for these new capabilities, including treating patients with chronic illnesses or those who require post-operative monitoring. It can involve third-party platform providers using video conferencing capabilities and leveraging cloud and internet technologies with RPM devices.
Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring
It’s no wonder that remote patient monitoring is becoming more popular, given its many advantages for healthcare practitioners. A patient’s chronic health issues may be carefully monitored by RPM without the patient having to come into a clinic physically.
Consider some of the most current facts on RPM’s rising adoption rate if you need further persuading about the advantages of remote patient monitoring.
A study on “Connected Health and Remote Patient Monitoring: Consumer and Industry Use” conducted by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) in 2019 gives valuable information about this topic. There were almost 2,000 people who took part in the CTA’s nationwide survey. There were also 100 primary care doctors, 60 endocrinologists, and 40 nurses involved.
Among patients, the most often reported advantages of remote patient monitoring were as follows:
- Comprehensive information about individualized health
- Improved accessibility to medical treatment
- Greater control over their well-being as a result of ownership of health data
Healthcare professionals emphasized:
- Improvement in patient outcomes
- Increased rates of adherence
- Patients taking greater control of their health
Indeed, RPM’s increasing list of insurers and generous reimbursements make it an attractive option for many.
Financial Advantages of Remote Patient Monitoring
As previously stated, the advantages of remote patient monitoring extend beyond medicine. Patients and doctors profit financially from it. As a result of new laws and payment requirements issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, remote patient monitoring has grown considerably. Medicare Advantage plans must adhere to the same regulations as traditional Medicare regarding coverage. The majority of commercial insurers follow Medicare’s approach.
Patients on Medicare may expect to pay copays up to their deductible amount. Patients should anticipate spending an average of $25 per month for remote patient monitoring after reaching the deductible, which is covered at 80%. Keeping in mind the actual expense of in-person clinic visits for careful monitoring of chronic health issues, this may not seem significant. $25 a month is a tiny fee to pay for avoiding long waits in possibly infected waiting rooms and the associated travel costs. Additionally, the expense of hospitalization for untreated exacerbations of chronic conditions might reach thousands of dollars.
It is becoming more commonplace for healthcare providers to monitor patients remotely. Therefore, healthcare professionals must guarantee that they can give these services to their patients. On the other hand, implementing an RPM program involves a great deal of understanding and preparation. In the absence of this, enterprises run the risk of failing to meet CMS billing criteria.