Technology has changed the face of medicine and patient care forever. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) care has become the norm for both healthcare providers and patients and Covid has accelerated this to a great degree. Hospitals and healthcare professionals who have been able to adapt and engage with RPM are seeing the benefits in many areas, especially in these stressful and challenging times.
Establishing a digital connection between the healthcare providers and patient has improved care in many ways:
Empowered Patients and Informed Doctors: smartphone usage has skyrocketed in the past few years. This along with easy access to the internet and low data costs have meant that patients feel comfortable using technology like never before. With RPM patients are able to log, track and report their symptoms. Gone are the days of rushed doctor visits where often one would step out of the hospital only to remember something you forgot to mention to the doctor. Overall, a patient can often feel like a passive observer as healthcare professionals plan their medical journey for them. With remote patient monitoring, patients are able to take more initiative and gain better control of their own health.
Doctors too have easy access to all the data about the patient in one place. They are able to ask relevant questions, point out lapses in follow through of their instructions and get regular data on symptoms, thus enabling creation of a better healthcare plan.
Low risk: Covid-19 has impacted lives and the risks of exposure to the virus are real. Social distancing is imperative for doctors as they are in the frontlines of this battle. RPM has taken some of the stress out of an inherently stressful situation. The doctors can continue to provide high-quality care to more patients with a lower risk to themselves.
Patients, especially elderly patients, or those with comorbidities are able to limit hospital visits thus mitigating chances of catching infections en route to the facility or in busy waiting rooms.
Efficiency and Ease: Since RPM puts the doctors and patients in touch directly, it makes their daily routines more efficient. Doctors are able to see more patients, access their data and make decisions more quickly. Not only does this reduce the costs of operations and increases the total number of patients a doctor can see but also helps to avoid burn-out.
For the patient too, the ease of being able to access medical help from the comfort of their homes provides an unmatched peace of mind. In their own environment, patients, especially the elderly feel at ease and more in control. Patients are also more inclined to participate in RPM as it reduces the costs associated with frequent doctor visits, as in the case of patients with chronic conditions.
RPM provides an opportunity for care that is more collaborative. This makes a world of difference and results in better health outcomes. With less congested waiting rooms and the risks associated with being in a public space, as well as improved patient health overall, remote patient monitoring is the need of the hour.