Frequently Asked Questions
What is remote monitoring in healthcare?
Remote Monitoring, also known as Remote Patient Monitoring and Remote Physiologic Monitoring (RPM) is using any combination of technology to monitor patients outside of the clinic or hospital. The technology can include medical devices, consumer devices, sensors, AI based software, monitoring devices, microphones, video cameras and patient inputted data. What gets measured gets monitored: the goal is to track patients to prevent, predict and catch medical problems early. RPM is also used for medication dosing optimization, feedback loops and behavior change.
The ideal Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is personalized to the patient and disease or condition; fits seamlessly into the patient’s life; tracks and metricizes biomarkers, environment, behavior, physical and/or mental states; is actively monitored by a combination of software and humans in real-time; and has a fast, easy way to connect the patient to a healthcare professional when the RPM data and analysis indicates that is needed.
What are the benefits of remote patient monitoring?
The benefits of remote patient monitoring include catching medical problems early or in time to save a patient’s life, tracking disease progression, and helping elicit behavior change through feedback loops.
Are there any disadvantages of remote patient monitoring?
There are some disadvantages to remote patient monitoring. There can be too much irrelevant data that overwhelms the patient or healthcare professional. With any device or test, there is always a risk of false positives, false negatives, or incorrect data. More devices and data transfer mean more opportunities for security breaches.
How does remote monitoring work?
The way remote monitoring or remote patient monitoring works is the patient has a combination of monitoring devices, sensors, and software. The monitoring devices can be consumer devices, FDA cleared clinical grade devices, or a combination of both consumer and clinical grade devices. These devices and sensors can metricize, monitor, and track biomarkers and vital signs, including blood pressure, pulse rate, pulse rate variability, EKG, blood oxygen level, glucose levels, temperature and more. Devices can also metricize and monitor the environment or behavior. Devices can include smart watches, blood pressure monitors, temperature monitors, video cameras, microphones, implanted sensors, sensor patches that stick to the skin, wall sensors, sensors embedded in clothing and more.
Some of these devices can store the patient’s data on the device for download over cable, some are Blue-tooth enabled, some are directly connected to the internet, some use near-field communication, some use edge-computing, some use cloud-computing. In order to be used with a clinic or hospital, the data transfer needs to be secure and HIPAA compliant.
The health plan, employer, physician, or other healthcare professional works with the patient to determine the best combination of devices or sensors for that individual. The healthcare professional or organization then uses a combination of software and humans to actively monitor the patient in real-time 24/7.