Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is the approach to health care delivery that allows for collecting real-time patient’s health data and transferring it to the medical care team. RPM enables healthcare providers to gather information outside the standard hospital settings with the help of wired or wireless peripheral measurement devices. Along with other telehealth solutions, RPM has already proved its great value and multiple benefits for both patients and healthcare entrepreneurs ranging from increased revenue for outpatient services to improved quality of healthcare.
This article will help you discover what is remote patient monitoring, learn more about the impact of remote patient monitoring health systems on clinical outcomes, understand how RPM works, and get some tips on how to implement remote monitoring software successfully.
Remote Medical Monitoring System: Market Growth & Trends
Even though remote monitoring has been widespread across different healthcare niches in recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has largely facilitated RPM market development. From March to April of 2020, the number of patient visits in the US have dropped in US by 69% and, consequently, the number of remote consultations has surged.
When millions of people have been infected with the virus and hospitals around the whole world were inundated with record levels of patients, healthcare providers were forced to turn to novel tech solutions for help. While doing so, many medical practitioners realized the big potential of the RPM solutions.
Remote patient monitoring solutions are rapidly gaining popularity in the post-pandemic world. Research & Markets has estimated that the global market for remote patient monitoring systems will amount to $1.7 Billion by 2027. In the meantime, Market Watch predicts the revenue of the global RPM devices market will reach USD 3.5 Billion in 2027. Clearly, RPM software plays a crucial role in the fast-evolving world of healthcare.
The Benefits of Remote Healthcare Monitoring Software
With the rising popularity of telehealth solutions, RPM technology has attracted interest from many researchers. A recent KLAS Research has revealed that 38% of healthcare businesses managed to reduce their admissions by using RPM technology. Other significant outcomes included improved patient satisfaction, reduced readmissions and ER visits, quantified cost reductions, and others.
Remote monitoring technology provides a lot of countless opportunities for businesses and enables them to get a significant competitive advantage. Let’s consider some of the major benefits that you can get from RPM implementation as a healthcare provider.
Improved accessibility and quality of care
One of the main areas of improvement in the healthcare system is the accessibility of medical care for individuals with chronic diseases. The statistics show that about one in four Americans has multiple chronic conditions that need consistent monitoring, which is impossible to make in traditional hospital settings. To remedy the situation, here comes remote patient monitoring to help the physicians out.
RPM software allows doctors to:
- extend patient care beyond a traditional clinical setting;
- keep an eye on the patient’s condition remotely thanks to real-time monitoring systems;
- give patients better, evidence-based f treatment advice;
- notice alarming trends and take corresponding actions immediately.
All these practices can reduce health risks and complications of chronic diseases among patients as well as raise service standards.
One of the major reasons why healthcare organizations have low profit is considerable expenses. Companies invest heavily in developing their facilities and employing skilled labor. Hence, their income is spent largely on business maintenance.
RPM system adoption makes a positive impact on lowering organizational costs because it allows healthcare providers and insurers to gather large amounts of data while using less human resources and equipment.
In addition, 99457 and 99458 CPT codes regulating treatment management allow healthcare providers not to pay separate hospital facility fees, which also reduces the total amount of business expenses. Consequently, integrating remote healthcare monitoring software into physician workflows leads to higher revenue streams.
Reduced overload in hospitals
The rise in hospitalization due to the COVID-19 pandemic has caused additional problems in the healthcare system. The hospitals can hardly handle the overflow of patients in the midst of a pandemic. This serious problem can be addressed with telehealth solutions.
RPM helps healthcare providers reduce the hospital and ERs burden. Since a remote medical monitoring system allows patients to get care without visiting a doctor’s office, the risks the healthcare system will face shortages of facilities are low. Below are some of the most common health conditions where remote patient monitoring is applied.
RPM also frees hospital staff from constantly doing wellness checks so they can focus on critical cases instead of being tied up with routine tasks.
Streamlined medical practice workflows
Inefficient operations and communication with patients cause additional challenges in complex healthcare workflows. People often delay or cancel their appointments due to commuting or private problems. Unpredictable issues associated with logistics and personal circumstances may disrupt clinical workflow.
RPM diminishes such problems. Since patients can report information about their health condition from anywhere and anytime, doctors are less affected by external factors. Hence, they can better organize their workflows and perform their duties more efficiently.
Enhanced patient-centered care
Patient-centered care means that individuals are regularly informed about their condition and actively involved in treatment, so doctors can respond to their needs and wishes effectively as well as provide constant support.
Nowadays, the pressure on health services is so extreme that patient-centered care may not be feasible due to the lack of time needed to gather data and to agree on management procedures.
With the help of remote patient monitoring technologies, patients can follow a personalized treatment plan and undergo regular check-ups while staying home. Biosensors, pulse oximetry, blood pressure cuffs, implantables, glucometers, pulse oximetry, and other RPM tools allow physicians to collect and update patient-generated health data almost instantly, provide prompt feedback, and take appropriate actions. This significantly improves the patient experience and helps healthcare businesses increase consumer satisfaction.
How Software for Remote Patient Monitoring Works
Up-to-date home health monitoring systems allow healthcare professionals to detect irregular data values, such as heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and symptom scores in the fastest and the most precise way.
Software for remote patient monitoring consists of the following components:
- a personal medical device (e.g. implanted sensors, oximeters, blood pressure monitors, wearables like an Apple Watch, etc.);
- an app on patient’s mobile phone compliant with IEC 62304 and HIPAA safety standards;
- a cloud database that сaptures raw health data from the mobile app;
- RPM software that receives data from the repository, forms reports, identifies warning signs and sends notifications to a healthcare team that makes decisions regarding treatment.
Let’s have a closer look at the stages of RPM functioning.
Stage 1. Data collection
Upon software activation, the RPM-supported device starts gathering data and puts it together into internal systems. Stored information gets structured and formatted for further transmission to the physician.
Stage 2. Information transmission
Once the data is collected, the program sends it to a healthcare professional. The transmission can be done in different ways, for instance, by phone or via the internet.
Stage 3. Analysis
At this stage, internal software evaluates delivered data using the algorithms. It helps the healthcare team examine the information and identify early warning signs of deteriorating patient condition.
Stage 4. Notification
If a physician reveals any deviations in the data that require prompt actions, the system sends alerts directly to an emergency medical team.
Stage 5. Action
In case of emergency, doctors deliver immediate assistance to the patient. Apart from helping an individual, the medical services team will explain what caused the incident and how to prevent it in the future.
How to Implement a Remote Medical Monitoring System
The adoption of RPMS is a multi-stage process that has a lot of pitfalls. In order to help you avoid potential difficulties during RPM implementation, we would like to share some recommendations on it. Following all the steps described below can enhance your chances to succeed in RPM technology deployment.
Identify patient needs
We all know that people with different diseases have different needs, which means different ways of remote patient monitoring might be applied to them. For example, high-risk patients require more frequent monitoring services than borderline patients, while those with a diabetes diagnosis or cardiovascular diseases are recommended to use wireless wearable devices that allow for continuous communication. That is why separating individuals with different medical conditions can make patient care more consistent and efficient.
Keep an open dialogue with a healthcare team
Gathering opinions of both business executives and staff members about the key operational pain points is crucial for project success.. Their detailed and honest feedback can help you focus on what truly matters to the end-users.
Choose between custom development and ready-made software
Although it may take less time to choose a ready-made RPM solution, custom software development has some major benefits that can make a difference to your business. Tailoring software to your specific business needs means you can create a fully-custom feature set for your RPM system. It also allows you for scaling the system easily in the future or as your healthcare organization grows.
Even though ready-made RPM solutions might seem to be cheaper than customized products, they may cost you more in the long run. Custom RPM software development can provide considerable efficiency and productivity gains that pay initial expenses off.
Select your RPM system development vendor carefully
Once you’ve decided to opt for custom development, you should pay special attention to the software development vendor selection process. You want to make sure that you hire a reliable vendor that can create a valuable, well-suited tool for your business, isn’t that right? In that case, make sure you do thorough research on your potential vendor. Checking up customer referrals on independent review platforms like Clutch.Co, Goodfirms, or G2 may also be helpful at this point.
In our recent article, we’ve highlighted some key aspects that need to be considered when choosing an EHR software development vendor, but the same principle can be applied to remote patient monitoring software development companies. The list of selection criteria is displayed below.
Track project progress
The best way to get a high-quality final product is to keep an eye on the RPM software development process. Set milestones for particular development stages and maintain consistent communication with your vendor. Most development teams use agile methodology, which allows you to get feedback after completing each of the development cycles.
Also, make sure you evaluate interim results well and make data-driven decisions based on them. This will help you and project team members make timely changes to the system and make sure it meets all your requirements.
Install a software system and train staff
It may take up to a few months to deploy new RPM software. While the system is being developed, it’s high time to start preparing its future users for the upcoming change. The best way to do this is to demonstrate how the system will be used and prove its multiple benefits.
Only by making sure that your medical team realizes the role and benefits of new software in the care process, quick and effortless user adoption can be achieved.
Using RPM technologies can be a novel experience for some individuals. therefore, you should adopt a highly structured, personal approach while giving user instructions. To ease this process, you can turn for support to your vendor. As development companies regularly help their customers with an RPM program implementation, it would be better to take advantage of their expertise.
RPM has proven to be a powerful tool during the pandemic and beyond. Using software applications for remote patient monitoring helps organizations cut their business costs, reduce hospital admissions, enhance the efficiency of medical services, and improve customer satisfaction. All these benefits prove that remote patient monitoring telehealth solution is highly beneficial for businesses.
The implementation of an RPM system is convenient for both healthcare providers and patients. It starts with identifying people’s needs and choosing a reputable vendor that meets your requirements. If you want to get an effective customized solution, highly-skilled developers at Empeek can create RPM software that will bring your business to the next level.