Over the past years, we have witnessed a number of innovations in healthcare, not only in treatment methods but also in terms of how care is delivered to patients, especially to those with chronic conditions. Today, chronic diseases are more prevalent, and becoming increasingly expensive to manage. They account for 75% of the total healthcare spend in the United States. But the fact is that chronic conditions are, in most cases, preventable. With the growing healthcare expenditure causing concern, there has been increased focus on their efficient management.
Traditionally, our healthcare system looked at chronic care management as educating patients about their conditions, and encouraging them to make lifestyle changes to live with these conditions. It involved helping patients to maintain treatment and therapies or interventions when needed, and motivating them to sustain a good quality of life. But with remote patient monitoring, managed care has achieved new dimensions. While the goal of chronic care management is still the same, the focus is now different.
How? Remote patient monitoring makes it possible to take a proactive approach to healthcare. It allows patients and providers to address health concerns before they become emergencies. In other words, while we will still receive the same treatment for a chronic condition, our physician can diagnose problems at an early stage and prevent it from becoming an emergency. Current remote patient monitoring systems are designed with advanced features such as video consultation, diet regime monitoring, and ongoing measurement of vital signs, automated check-ups, and transfer of real-time diagnostic data to physicians.
How RPM Transforms Healthcare
Until now, patients used healthcare services reactively to treat episodic events rather than working with care providers in an ongoing basis. But with growing rates of chronic illnesses, this model proves inefficient. What we need today is a proactive model that can promote overall wellness and prevent deterioration. Remote patient monitoring can help build such a model. It overcomes the shortcomings in our traditional healthcare system by moving care to the comfort of the home. It encourages patients to engage in preventive care, thus enabling them to be an integral part of the healthcare system.
Since most chronic illnesses require daily monitoring, remote patient monitoring technology can empower patients with the right tools that can help gather diagnostic information and relay it to physicians at the right time. Moreover, through the use of biometric devices, this system can be employed to deliver reminders to patients, trigger alerts, and transmit a holistic snapshot of the patient’s condition to the physician in real-time.
Likewise, this system can also be used by care providers to send educational material to patients remotely, thereby encouraging them to modify their behavior and efficiently self-manage their condition. With patients becoming more aware and involved in their health management, providers can not only bring about better outcomes, but they can also optimize their resources and extend their reach and effectiveness. With these promising possibilities, remote patient monitoring is likely to transform healthcare and give patient care management a whole new dimension.