RPM can help clinicians treat chronic diseases more effectively and relieve overloaded hospitals.
Fremont, CA: The COVID-19 pandemic has unquestionably propelled telehealth into the mainstream of medicine. Remote patient monitoring is one area of telehealth that has witnessed significant growth in the last two years. RPM aids healthcare during a pandemic by allowing patients to be observed and treated at home in institutions that are already overburdened. RPM has also cut down on the length of time patients have to spend in circumstances where the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted.
Beyond the pandemic, RPM can keep patients at home, away from the high-cost environment of a hospital, where they will be happy, thus enhancing the patient experience and lowering expenses.
How does RPM help patients with chronic health conditions during a pandemic?
Many doctors have recently seen chronic illnesses deteriorate. This is due to two factors: first, chronic patients concerned about COVID are avoiding and delaying treatment since they are at increased risk. By June 2020, an estimated 41 percent of individuals in the United States had delayed or avoided medical care, with those with chronic diseases being substantially more likely to avoid going to the hospital or clinic. The other issue is that many physicians lack access to the appropriate remote patient monitoring tools to assist prevent this and provide to patients who would not otherwise attend a clinic. Delaying treatment has long-term consequences, and RPM can help to mitigate these effects.
This has been demonstrated in programs that used pulse oximeters, spirometers, linked thermometers, and stethoscopes to monitor the patients after they are discharged from the hospital after COVID-19. However, there are numerous conditions for which there are no gadgets that can give proper care in the house. People fighting with COPD, sleep apnea, and atrial fibrillation, require equipment that can adequately track them. Physicians will only be able to observe bits and pieces of these patients' conditions for the time being. Even if in-person visits are reduced, many high-risk patients will still require additional care.
RPM is still in its initial stage in terms of what it can achieve for chronic disease patients. RPM can be advanced by examining existing diagnostic instruments for each condition, determining which sensors can be integrated into wireless devices, and developing clinically useful, continuous solutions. This is only the beginning, and healthcare has the potential to innovate with professionals and patients who are open to new ideas and willing to try new things.