What Is The Future Of Remote Patient Monitoring?
The future of healthcare is digital. The 21st century brought large innovations in the field of medicine. Most recently, due to Covid-19, many physicians have incorporated remote patient monitoring (RPM) into their routine practice. Even though the brunt of the pandemic appears to be behind us, medical professionals, realizing the benefits of RPM, show no signs of backing down. Thus, the future of RPM seems to finally be here.
Before we explore the future of RPM, let us first define it. Remote Patient Monitoring is a subcategory of telehealth home care that allows patients to use smart mobile medical devices and technologies that gather patient-generated health data (PGHD) and send it to healthcare professionals.
The global RPM market is expected to reach “$117.1 billion by 2025, compared to $23.2 billion in 2020 – more than a fivefold increase in just five years” as reported by Forbes. This means that more companies are joining in on the RPM market. Both old and new companies are striving for innovation to make the most useful and cost-effective RPM devices.
This high level of competition within the RPM market is amazing news across the board, but especially for people suffering from chronic illnesses like Chronic Kidney Disease, Diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as this forces tech companies to make revolutionary devices that can help these patients.
Remote Patient Monitoring and Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are essential in the world of drug development and medical research. These trials allow doctors to safely understand if specific drugs function the way they are intended to. Participants of clinical trials need to periodically go to the clinic for in-person visits where their information/progress is recorded.
In the recent past, this was only possible by physically going to the clinic. This made it very hard for researchers to get diverse samples, as they could only recruit people in a certain radius of the clinic due to logistical reasons. With remote patient monitoring, however, the need for in-person visits to the clinic is diminished.
Participants can track, monitor, and record their information at home with the help of RPM. This allows researchers to get larger sample sizes more quickly from across the world, making their research more generalizable and reliable.
This is so significant that a 2021 Global Data study revealed that RPM will likely have the largest positive impact on the pharmaceutical industry. This is even more significant for large pandemics like Covid-19, and even local epidemics, that prevent people from physically being present at clinical trials. RPM can allow researchers to bypass these problems.
Continuous Patient Monitoring
Not everything can be picked up during a clinic visit. For example, an arrhythmia is only detectable when it occurs and cannot be detected before or after its occurrence. Thus, it can easily be missed in clinical visits.
However, if the patient has RPM, then the RPM devices can pick up the arrhythmia at whatever odd hour it occurs, record the data, and even transmit it to the patient’s physician. Thus, RPM technology can detect many invisible signs and minimize the risks associated with a lack of visibility into a patient’s changing condition. This is possible as these smart devices can pick up on symptoms long before the individual feels anything odd.
Although powerful, these devices need to be designed specifically with patient accessibility and usability in mind. After all, RPM devices will be useless if the patient cannot incorporate them into their daily lives.
Ways in which companies can improve these devices are by adding cellular connectivity, as WiFi is not always available outside homes. Another potential improvement would be to create even simpler user interfaces (UI), as many patients using RPM technology are senior citizens who may have trouble operating more complicated devices. If these devices become too hard for users to understand, adoption rates for RPM won’t increase.
Remote Patient Monitoring and Telemedicine
RPM technology can effectively complement telemedicine. For example, a person with chronic kidney disease can make the most of their telehealth conference by providing their physician with all the important vital information through their RPM smart devices.
If the physician finds anything out of the ordinary, all they have to do is look at the blood chemical levels recorded by the patient’s RPM devices. This would mean that the patient does not have to come to the hospital for a checkup and can receive quality healthcare from the comfort of their homes. Even for routine checkups, patients can use RPM devices provided by SmartClinix to ensure that their physician gets all the relevant information they need.
Diseases often come with many other problems alongside the original suspected one. Patients rarely only suffer from a single disease. However, most clinical trials and research do not focus on patients with multiple diseases as they are deemed too complicated due to the many variables involved.
However, this is merely a problem with how data is organized and tracked. With the large-scale use of RPM technology and software that produces user-specific analytics, this problem of complicated data can be simplified. This will allow patients with multiple chronic diseases to be studied, allowing quicker diagnosis and mitigating treatments.
Finding the Right Remote Patient Monitoring Technology
The whole world is rapidly adopting RPM. Healthcare innovators like SmartClinix combine RPM technologies with a suite of tools for comprehensive treatment to provide patients with the best possible tools for their healthcare. With a host of smart RPM devices like the Glucometer, Pulse Oximeter, and Blood Pressure Monitoring paired with our state-of-the-art software, SmartClinix can meet your RPM and telehealth needs together. We offer multiple plans starting at the low cost of $19.46. So, set your monetary fears aside and get your RPM setup today!
Dr. Josh is a physician who's helping spread the knowledge about Telehealth and its advantages. At SmartClinix, he's providing his expertise and knowledge in the form of engaging articles on various health & tech related topics.