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Fostering a Proactive Approach in Healthcare with Remote Patient Monitoring

Posted by: Karthikeyan Natarajan On December 02, 2013 12:33 PM

A quickly ageing population, steady rise in chronic illnesses and increasing pressure on existing healthcare infrastructure to deliver the highest quality care in the most cost-effective manner has created the need for a paradigm shift in healthcare. The current healthcare system is optimized to deliver acute, reactive care. But there is a growing demand to redefine this system and move away from a strictly reactive approach towards providing proactive healthcare. In other words, instead of treating patients at the crisis point, health concerns should be addressed before they become emergencies. Legislations like ‘Affordable Health Care Act’ and the global need to improve healthcare delivery by reducing hospital stays and readmissions are redefining the healthcare delivery model. The entire industry finds itself tasked with the onus of transforming healthcare from a twentieth century fee-for-services model to a model that is based on delivering outcomes.

This shift, from a market perspective, requires all players to find newer and better ways to identify and leverage synergies. Care providers must manage, monitor and ensure improved healthcare outcomes even outside of the clinical setting. New systems must integrate with existing applications and infrastructure. To achieve this focus will be on designing telehealth devices, applications and electronic health record platforms as per interoperability standards. Applications must aid diagnosis by using smart analytics. Data security and data redundancy is a challenge while dealing with a healthcare enterprise solution. Stake holders have to work towards mitigating this risk by integrating security protocols/standards like TLS, WS-Security + SAML 2.0 and compliance with privacy standards like HIPAA and IHE guidelines. Thus, any new healthcare paradigm needs the entire value chain—from patients, hospitals, payers and medical device manufacturers through to physicians and surgeons—to find ways to adopt and/or create improved healthcare delivery systems. And, all players must ensure that the healthcare ecosystem is effective, profitable and sustainable for the coming decades.

Personalizing Healthcare with Remote Patient Monitoring

Instead of bringing patients to the hospital/clinic for delivering healthcare services, personalized care can be brought to the patients’ doorstep. And this can be done with the help of a number of technology enabled innovations and diffusion of integrative technologies in healthcare. Value creation in health care is now inextricably connected with digital technology, and the evolution of that technology is accelerating. Low power wireless technologies like BLE/BT4.0, Embedded biometric sensors, wearable monitoring technologies, portable Telehealth devices, powerful smart phones & handhelds and Cloud Technology for Electronic Health Record storage and data analytics are enabling creation of integrated healthcare enterprise solutions for efficient remote patient management. Termed as ‘Remote Patient Monitoring’, this new paradigm is quickly gaining popularity amongst healthcare providers as well as patients and promises to improve the quality of healthcare while bringing down its delivery costs.

How?

By adopting Remote Patient Monitoring for Chronic disease management, Post-Acute Care Monitoring And Patient safety monitoring (especially seniors) we can increase access to affordable care, improve health outcomes and enhance patient independence and quality of life.

With an effective Remote Patient Monitoring system, care givers can remotely manage the chronic conditions of a diverse population. By remotely monitoring patients from the comfort of their homes using telehealth devices and smart health gateways, the need of routine hospital revisits can be eliminated. By analyzing the trend of physiological parameters, care providers can also detect deterioration at a very early stage thus reducing the number of emergency visits and patient hospitalizations.

RPM can be used for continuous monitoring of a patient vitals post discharge from a hospital after an acute episode & treatment and can help shorten hospital stays. Technology solutions like remote patient vital monitoring devices, automatic medication notifications can be used to reinforce the discharge plan instructions with daily monitoring and medication management for post discharge patient stabilisation & recovery. This can help patients and their care providers in avoiding unnecessary hospital readmissions.

With Remote Monitoring technologies for health, wellness and safety monitoring we can ensure focus on the physi¬cal health and wellness of seniors, among others. New technology solutions for remote fall detection, SOS support for emergency situations, Tele Consultation provide an en¬hanced sense of independence, security and improved quality of life for seniors. They provide peace of mind and reduce the strains of informal/family caregivers.

From enabling personalized care and providing an overall sense of well-being, Remote Patient Monitoring can empower patients and give them the confidence to self-manage their health conditions. Safety, activity, physiological, health and socialization data can be analyzed using data analytics technologies, archived in electronic health records and mined to detect indicators of early disease onset, deterioration or improvement in health conditions. These technologies have the potential to improve the quality of care and reduce liability for care providers and payers. With the support of the right solution for remotely monitoring patients, a proactive approach to healthcare will soon be a reality.

Tags: Industry Trends
 
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