Remote patient monitoring is also known as “Homecare Telehealth”, which allows a patient to use an internet-capable device to perform a routine test and share the test data with a healthcare professional in real-time.
A new report by Berg Insight shows that 19 million people across the world will take to remote patient monitoring by 2018. RPM has been witness to much needed research and many innovations in the last few years, Bioelectronics being one of the most noteworthy ones.
Remote Patient Monitoring – It cannot be ignored
Bioelectronics is an emerging area of research, where experts are developing small and wearable Wi-Fi-enabled sensors that can detect all kinds of vital body statistics like – heart rate, body temperature, hydration levels, etc. and relay them to your doctor or your smartphone in real time.
One important benefit of these devices is that, once the patients have all the health related data about their bodies, they can be more proactive about their health, cut health care costs with preventive measures and foster better relationships with their doctors.
Many remote monitoring devices like Telemetric Electromyographs, implantable heart monitors, Vivago Wristcare, Digital Angles, VitalSense, Lifeguard, etc. are commonly used in healthcare industries today.
Most remote patient monitoring technologies follow a general architecture consisting of four major components:
• Sensors that are enabled by wireless communications, to ensure accurate measurement of physiological parameters by the device.
• Local data storage at patients’ site that interfaces between sensors and other centralized data repository and/or healthcare providers.
• Centralized repository to store data sent from sensors, local data storage, diagnostic applications and/or healthcare providers.
• Diagnostic application software that develops treatment recommendations and intervention alerts based on the analysis of collected data.
Depending on the disease and the parameters that have to be monitored, different combinations of sensors, storage and applications may be deployed.
Remote patient monitoring can revolutionize the future of healthcare, in ways more than one:
• Incorporating RPM in chronic disease management can significantly improve a person’s quality of life by enabling them to maintain independence, prevent complications and minimize personal costs. RPM serves these goals by delivering care, right to the patient’s home.
• In addition, patients and their family members feel comfort knowing that they are being monitored and will be supported if a problem arises. This is particularly important when patients are managing complex self-care processes such as home Hemodialysis.
• Key features of RPM, like remote monitoring and trend analysis of physiological parameters, help in early detection of deterioration; thus, minimizing the number of emergency department visits, hospitalizations and duration of hospital stays.
• The time saved as a result of RPM implementation can be used to increase efficiency and allow healthcare providers to allocate more time to remotely educate and communicate with patients.
• Remote Patient Monitoring future technologies like biosensors can measure a patient’s heart rate, temperature and blood pressure and is so unobtrusive that it can be like wearing a tattoo or bandage.
Remote patient monitoring is highly dependent on the individual’s motivation to manage their own health. Without the patient’s willingness to be an active participant in their own care, RPM implementation will surely fail. Cost is also a barrier for RPM implementation, with devices and peripherals currently costing thousands of dollars. There is a lack of reimbursement guidelines for RPM services, which may deter its incorporation into clinical practice.
However in spite of these limitations, the implications of RMP are immense. With families growing smaller and young as well as elderly individuals becoming more and more independent;
REMOTE PATIENT MONITORING is going to be the future caretaker of both young and old. With better economies of scale in place in future, it’s just a matter of time as people take to remote patient monitoring to be their health care partner.