Why Remote Patient Monitoring Systems Are the Future of Healthcare. Part 1: General Overview
Long queues in hospital hallways, overloaded schedules of healthcare practitioners, shortage of healthcare staff, and high expenses on costly medical equipment maintenance — all such issues have become an integral part of hospital-centralized care. In the digital age, we are finally close to finding a universal solution to such problems. The world of healthcare technologies is rapidly changing with the development of telehealth, and remote patient monitoring systems are becoming an increasingly valuable trend. The market for patient monitoring devices is expected to grow from $36.4 billion in 2020 to $55.1 billion in 2025. What makes such innovations so valuable? In this article, we will provide a general overview of remote patient monitoring solutions in healthcare and prove that such technologies are the future of this domain.
What is remote patient monitoring?
RPM systems are technologies that collect patients’ health-related data and transfer it to health providers. The main purpose of such systems is to track a person’s health continuously without the need for permanent in-person meetings with a doctor. Typically, patient monitoring systems include:
- mobile applications for Android or IOS;
- web-based remote home monitoring systems;
- wearable technology;
- integrated sensor devices.
Remote monitoring of patients promotes continuous care without the need for frequent in-person appointments. Monitor system software can be used both by doctors keeping track of their patients and by people willing to record their health indicators. Just like any other promising innovation, RPM systems have a broad range of types and areas of use.
Common types of remote patient monitoring systems
RPM systems can be distinguished according to their purpose.
Cardiac monitoring devices
Traditionally, patients with heart-related concerns can check their heart rate only in medical facilities, which presupposes a high risk of missing the early signs of an emerging problem. Cardiac monitoring devices keep both patients and their doctors updated about the state of a person’s heart. Physicians can also use data from such devices to determine the impact of specific activities on a patient’s heart rate.
Blood glucose monitoring device
Diabetes remains one of the most common health conditions while monitoring glucose levels is an essential aspect of caring for people who suffer from this disease. A blood glucose monitoring system makes this objective much simpler because healthcare practitioners permanently receive data on glucose fluctuations. When a person uses a blood glucose monitoring device, data is collected according to a customized schedule designed to ensure timely detection of any threatening symptoms.
Hand hygiene monitoring systems
Such a patient monitoring system is especially relevant during the pandemic of COVID-19. The lack of attention to hand hygiene ensures quick transmission of the virus. Hand hygiene monitoring system software reminds people of washing hands, which reduces their threat of being infected. They can also provide both ordinary citizens and healthcare practitioners with relevant data on hygiene practices.
Depression and mood monitoring devices
Mood tracking and detection of early symptoms of depression require continuous observation, which may be hard to achieve. Telehealth systems provide a solution to this problem because they monitor physiological parameters associated with mood swings. Remote monitoring software collects data on a patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, or even eye movement. All the data is delivered to doctors who can use it to investigate a person’s mood dynamics and detect potential depressive symptoms.
Technologies assisting people with COPD and asthma
People with COPD or asthma are exposed to the threat of sudden attacks that require them to use inhalers and avoid potential triggers. A patient tracking system reminds them to use an inhaler according to the arranged with a doctor's schedule. Also, remote patient monitoring solutions provide data about the frequency of attacks and even environmental changes that can trigger such attacks.
Pregnancy monitoring systems
During pregnancy, even the slightest health concerns can have an adverse effect on a mother and her child. A remote monitoring device can be used to monitor the condition of a pregnant woman. It collects data on blood pressure and weight shifts, which allows healthcare practitioners to track both mother’s and child’s health.
Sensors for digestive systems
Digestive problems are another issue that requires keeping a doctor updated. Portable ingestible sensors collect data from a person’s digestive system and deliver it to a healthcare provider. They can indicate high stomach PH levels or even determine sources of internal bleeding.
Remote patient monitoring systems and the IoT
Remote patient monitoring solutions are densely tied to the concept of the IoT (Internet of Things), which incorporates billions of connected to the Internet digital devices that collect and share data. IoT healthcare devices can range from the simplest heart pulse bracelets to much more sophisticated biosensor wearables with specific software for healthcare that works with various physiological parameters. Another popular approach to remote patient monitoring implies installing specific medical apps for patients on their smartphones.
IoT technologies are rapidly developing as the appearance of more accessible and smaller hardware expands opportunities associated with this sphere. The most valuable components of IoT are data, software, hardware, and security. Another valuable factor is the connectivity of telehealth monitoring systems. Autonomous patient tracking software has little value in the contemporary IoT market. The most relevant devices are connected to hospital EMR systems that store all the important data on patients’ health and allow healthcare providers to review it at any time.
The projected growth of remote patient monitoring systems in North America
Remote patient monitoring systems: benefits and opportunities to healthcare businesses
Remote patient monitoring solutions offer numerous significant benefits to healthcare businesses, which allows expecting an unprecedented growth of their market in the nearest future. The main reasons to use such software in medical processes are the following:
- optimized cost-efficiency. Remote medical monitoring allows healthcare providers to save costs on staff and equipment maintenance. By reducing the number of in-hospital appointments, healthcare providers also decrease the workloads of their employees. In addition, remote tracking is often conducted through patients’ devices, which unloads a healthcare provider’s equipment.
- improved patient outcomes. With a wireless patient monitoring system, doctors receive continuous updates on patients’ state, which improves their chances of detecting threatening symptoms on time. It allows them to provide a timely primary care response to emerging health issues and prevent critical situations. A known for the delivery of positive patient outcomes healthcare provider automatically becomes more attractive to potential clients.
- improved quality of service. Continuous health tracking with a health monitoring system enhances a patient’s sense of security. This person understands that their health is permanently observed, and negative symptoms will not remain undetected. Also, such technologies provide doctors with more data on patients, which allows healthcare professionals to develop personalized approaches.
- management optimization. With remote monitoring healthcare solutions, medical providers can optimize the schedules of their practitioners. Doctors are no longer overloaded with appointments, which improves their efficiency. Also, remote systems enhance patients’ accountability, which provides valuable insights that can be reviewed with hospital management software.
- enhanced chronic disease prevention and management. With RPM solutions, patients can track their own glucose levels of hypertension symptoms. As a result, the threat of developing chronic conditions becomes lower to them. It also allows medical organizations to save costs because caring for patients with chronic conditions accounts for a significant part of the provider’s expenses.
- promotional opportunities. Promotion plays a vital role in fierce competition peculiar to the healthcare market. Remote patient monitoring software has great marketing potential because it increases a patient’s awareness of a provider. Medical apps for patients can advertise specific services and provide patients with service recommendations. They can also increase a healthcare provider’s online visibility by enhancing its presence on the Internet and generating additional traffic.
- additional security in the age of pandemic. The current COVID-19 crisis has already transferred numerous occupations to the remote mode. The flow of new patients exceeds healthcare providers’ capacities, while their facilities become disease amplifiers due to patients’ and doctors’ contacts with infected cohorts. A remote health monitoring system becomes a solution to such problems because it reduces the number of in-person contacts between potential disease carriers. It also helps healthcare practitioners save time, which improves their efficiency in conditions of professional overload.
Now that you know more about telemonitoring in healthcare and its benefits, you may want to get information about a specific RPM development application or essential steps in creating a wireless patient monitoring system. Fortunately, you are in the right place. We have expertise in medical software development and can offer you numerous suggestions that will come in handy. Make sure to check the second part of our material to know more about our company’s experience with developing system health monitoring software.