What is a Remote Patient Monitoring System?

RPM systems collect health data from various remote monitoring devices and digitally transmit that data to designated healthcare teams.

October 30, 2022
What is a Remote Patient Monitoring System?

At its core, remote patient monitoring (RPM) was created to make it as easy as possible for physicians and nurses to keep people healthy. A truly comprehensive RPM system enables healthcare providers to remotely monitor a patient’s condition from day to day, getting alerts and intervening efficiently and effectively. Let’s break that down a bit further. 

RPM systems collect health data from various remote monitoring devices and digitally transmit that data to designated healthcare teams. This seamless transference of critical health information allows medical staff to manage and monitor their patient’s health in real-time—thus limiting the need for in-person patient visits. The streamlined communication process that RPM solutions provide arms medical staff with the insight they need to make immediate adjustments to their patient’s treatment plans, reducing the likelihood of hospitalization or emergency room visits. 

Current trends indicate that interest in virtual healthcare services has substantially increased, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, the remote patient monitoring market is expected to grow by nearly 400% between 2015 and 2022. The significant growth of the RPM market indicates that these solutions work and are becoming increasingly desirable in the eyes of the healthcare industry.

But what do remote monitoring systems look like in action? What are their specific benefits? And how do you determine the reliability of remote patient monitoring companies? Read on to learn more. 

What are Remote Monitoring Examples?

To illustrate the far-reaching capabilities of RPM solutions, here are two common examples of remote patient monitoring use cases. 

Hypertension Monitoring and Management 

Unfortunately, high blood pressure often goes unnoticed and the effects of this condition are hard to recognize. Therefore, patients with hypertension must consistently monitor their blood pressure levels to get a completely accurate read of their overall blood pressure and heart health. Since a patient’s blood pressure needs to be monitored so regularly, it’s extremely inconvenient for the patient to travel to a doctor’s office to have their blood pressure taken and recorded, or for a healthcare worker to travel to a patient’s residence and do the same. Even having a nurse collect the data via phone is inconvenient,  time consuming and costly.  

With an RPM system, patients can simply use their blood pressure cuff at home and attach their remote monitoring device. Their blood pressure data is then collected by the monitoring device, transferred through the RPM system, and directly submitted to the patient’s healthcare team. 

If the cardiologist notices any adverse changes in their patient’s health data, they can immediately take action and suggest proactive adjustments to their patient’s treatment plan. 

Glucose Monitoring and Management

Effective and consistent blood sugar monitoring is absolutely vital for patients with diabetes. Most often, individuals with diabetes need to check their blood sugar multiple times a day. RPM solutions make it easier for patients to share this critical information with their healthcare providers. 

When a glucose monitoring device is paired with an RPM system, a patient’s data is immediately captured whenever they check their blood sugar levels and is sent directly to their endocrinologist. This makes it easier for the endocrinologist to quickly detect unhealthy patterns and act on that information.  

Notable Advantages of a Patient Monitoring System

The benefits of remote patient monitoring  are manifold and include: 

Cost Savings

Remote patient monitoring cost savings are significant. RPM systems reduce inefficient  patient interactions. Generally, a provider can manage 4-6x as many patients using RPM, compared to using a traditional call out system. And because a provider will receive more timely and accurate patient b-vitals, the hospital can avoid unreimbursed costs. Harmonize Health’s RPM platform saves $7,000+ per patient per year. 

Fewer Hospital Admissions and ER Visits

Because RPM solutions give physicians real-time updates on their patient’s health, they can quickly identify potential issues and change their patient’s treatment plans. This greatly reduces hospital admissions and prevents patients from having to frequently visit the ER. Harmonize Health users experienced 61% fewer hospital admissions and 43% fewer ER visits. 

Reduced Strain on Medical Providers

No one can deny that medical providers are under tremendous pressure and face extreme challenges. RPM systems can help reduce strain on healthcare workers by limiting false alerts, increasing patient retention, and boosting efficiency. Those who use Harmonize Health’s RPM system have experienced: 

  • 60% fewer false alerts
  • 97% monthly patient retention
  • 5-6x efficiency gain in staff coverage

Remote Patient Monitoring and Value-Based Care

Because RPM plays a crucial role in reducing hospital admissions and readmissions, using an RPM system can help medical facilities qualify for Value-Based Care (VBC) for Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid patients. Since RPM systems deliver patient data directly to providers, healthcare teams are able to track that data and take immediate action if a patient’s health seems to be in decline. This process directly improves patient outcomes, which is ideal for providers who work under the VBC model. 

What Capabilities Should an RPM Solution Have?

As is the case with most technology, not all RPM solutions are created equal. Here is what you should expect from the best: 

  • Straightforward patient onboarding processes.
  • Custom kits for each patient that are catered to their individual conditions and health needs.
  • An intuitive app that makes it simple for patients to record their data.
  • Patient engagement tools that promote ongoing participation.
  • Communication channels—like video calls and live chats—that make it easy for medical staff and patients to maintain regular contact.
  • An effective and efficient alerting framework and automated clinical workflow.
  • Educational resources that are designed to empower patients and enable them to manage their health.

Harmonize Health’s RPM solution checks all of these boxes. If you’re interested in seeing how we can make RPM work for you and your patients, feel free to connect.

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