What Is the Purpose of Remote Patient Monitoring?

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) improves patient engagement and satisfaction, while reducing the cost of care.

October 31, 2022
What Is the Purpose of Remote Patient Monitoring?

When it comes to providing effective healthcare to meet the dynamic needs of diverse individuals, monitoring patients’ conditions in real-time helps streamline operations and provide timely care. When symptoms and conditions can be monitored without requiring the patient to make—and keep—an appointment, it elevates the level of care.

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is defined by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services as “any form of telehealth that allows providers to monitor and manage their patients' chronic conditions.” RPM takes health monitoring to another level by empowering providers with the tools they need to provide efficient, remote care. By providing patients with continuous health monitoring devices, providers can track their vitals (like heart rate, body temperature, blood oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and more) and suggest interventions and treatments as needed.

The ultimate aim of these technologies and patient tracking systems is simple: to detect issues or changes in patients’ health early, so they can be treated in a timely and effective way. In other words, it helps providers to keep their patients healthy. When patients are healthy, far fewer need to travel to their doctor’s office or hospital for what turn out to be unnecessary visits.

What Are Some Examples of Remote Patient Monitoring?

Effective RPM programs are those that provide efficient and effective solutions to specific challenges. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic presented difficult and widespread challenges for virtually all types of healthcare providers. Especially when the elderly or other vulnerable populations are being hit hard, remote patient monitoring stood to make a substantial difference in the timeliness and quality of care. 

In response to the pandemic, Harmonize Health developed a COVID-19 Early Detection and Remote Care Program, designed to detect symptoms early, reduce the spread, and save lives. The initiative provides crucial information and guidance, as well as therapeutics when needed.

A few additional examples of innovative RPM programs powered by Harmonize Health include:

  • High-Risk Patient Care, which brings cutting-edge digital health to populations with multiple comorbidities, many of whom are unfamiliar with technology.
  • Post-Acute Care Discharge, which enables providers to monitor patients closely for deteriorations and ensure timely clinical interventions are performed.
  • Chronic Disease Management, which effectively monitors chronic disease patients for symptoms with reduced operating and labor overhead.

What Are the Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring?

Beyond the “big picture” implications for public health and well-being, health monitoring and RPM systems deliver concrete benefits to both patients and providers. Here is a sample of how Harmonize Health’s RPM platform has helped providers engage patients easily and reduced the total cost of care:

  • Patients experienced 61% fewer hospital admission days, 50% fewer days spent in the hospital, and 43% fewer ER visits.
  • Providers saw 60% fewer false alerts, 97% monthly patient retention, 5-6x efficiency gain in staff coverage, 10x increase in monitoring data, and $7,000 cost savings per patient per year. 

What Technology Is Used in Remote Patient Monitoring?

Health monitoring and RPM programs generally require two types of technology: individual monitoring devices for patient use and an integrated RPM platform for healthcare providers’ use.

What Are Health Monitoring Devices?

Some of the most commonly-used remote patient monitoring devices examples include things like:

  • Blood pressure monitors to track heart rate and blood flow and send real-time data for clinicians to review. This data is important in the monitoring and management of conditions like hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure (CHF), and kidney dysfunction.
  • Glucometers to test patients’ blood sugar levels and send readings directly to their healthcare provider. These are especially helpful for patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, who may need multiple daily tests to manage their blood sugar levels effectively.
  • Pulse oximeters that provide a non-invasive method for testing blood oxygen levels and pulse. These are useful devices for patients with chronic heart or lung conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and CHF, and can even work to detect and monitor COVID-19, pneumonia, and asthma.
  • Scales, thermometers, and wearable activity trackers that can provide insight into a patients’ overall health and/or the progress of certain acute or chronic conditions. When these devices are connected (through the internet or bluetooth connectivity), they provide accurate, real-time monitoring that helps patients as well as healthcare providers better understand—and improve—their health.

What Is an RPM Platform?

A health monitoring application is a software platform that provides services to unify patient care and monitoring by collecting historical and real-time patient data generated by remote monitoring devices (like those listed above). 

Harmonize Health has built a reliable and easy remote health monitoring platform that empowers providers to deliver remote care that is comprehensive, convenient, and scalable. Some of the provider benefits include:

  • Maximized efficiency and throughput, with patient-specific alerting and workflow tools to improve remote monitoring.
  • Low integration overhead, meaning it easily integrates with Electronic Health Records (EHR) to consolidate applications and streamline workflows.
  • Smart, flexible deployment that provides an end-to-end patient monitoring system with custom workflows and an intuitive interface.

What do these benefits mean for patient and provider outcomes? In short, the impact is substantial, leading to:

  • Fewer emergency room visits (-43%)
  • Lower rates of hospital admission (-61%)
  • Reduced overall healthcare costs (-$7k)
  • Improved patient engagement (+70%)
  • Improved patient satisfaction (+40%)

Learn More About Our RPM Solution

Remote patient monitoring provides healthcare providers with operational efficiency and excellent ROI. Contact us today to learn more about how to get started with our remote patient health monitoring platform, explore its features in depth, or to request a demo.

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