By Dana Jacoby
It’s no secret that disease management is a significant and growing concern, both for patients and healthcare professionals alike. As the prevalence of chronic conditions continues to increase, healthcare costs are skyrocketing across the globe.
This is where remote patient monitoring comes in: a potential game-changer in this landscape. As healthcare providers actively seek innovative solutions for effective disease management, a personalized approach to remote patient monitoring may be the key to unlocking improved efficiency and precision and a reduction in healthcare costs.
In this article, we will explore the emerging technology poised to redefine the healthcare industry, how it works, and how it’s already showing an impact.
What Is Remote Patient Monitoring?
Often abbreviated to RPM, remote patient monitoring represents a transformative shift in healthcare delivery. Thanks to wearable, implantable, or even home-based medical devices, healthcare providers are able to monitor their patients from afar through a continuous stream of data—from vital signs and medication compliance to specific disease symptoms.
The Benefits of RPM
Remote patient monitoring helps both patients and healthcare providers in a multitude of ways by building a more efficient, cost-effective, and patient-centric healthcare system.
|Benefits for Patients
|Benefits for Providers
Patients can receive care and manage their diseases from the comfort of their homes, making it easier for them to access the help they need
RPM streamlines medical processes, saving time for healthcare providers that can be redirected to critical cases
Healthcare providers can send immediate responses and adjustments to their treatment plans
|Data-driven decision making
With a continuous flow of patient data, healthcare providers can make informed, timely decisions about treatment adjustments
RPM empowers patients to take an active role in managing their health, which could also lead to better adherence
|Better patient outcomes
As patients become more engaged in their own care, they are likely to improve their own results
|Fewer hospital visits
Routine check-ups can be minimized, reducing the stress and inconvenience around getting to the hospital for regular visits
Fewer in-person visits and hospital readmissions mean relieving healthcare systems of overload
Patients can feel in safe hands thanks to precision medicine-based strategies that are proven to boost effectiveness
Healthcare providers can adjust treatment and disease management plans to individual patient needs, improving treatment effectiveness and patient satisfaction
RPM in Disease Management
One particular area where RPM holds significant potential is in disease management—let’s explore why that is.
Disease Management Is Moving to the Forefront of Healthcare
Chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer account for a significant proportion of global healthcare spending. Indeed, the World Health Organization estimates that chronic diseases are responsible for 74% of all deaths worldwide. In the United States, it is estimated that over 133 million people live with at least one chronic condition, accounting for over 75% of healthcare spending.
It goes without saying that the long-term management of these chronic diseases places an immense strain on healthcare systems, as patients require constant monitoring, follow-up appointments, and lifelong medication. The result? Prolonged waiting periods, poorer outcomes, and increased healthcare costs.
Why RPM Is Just What Disease Management Needs
RPM, with its specific benefits, provides a promising solution to the challenges of disease management. Namely through…
- Active patient participation
One of the main challenges in chronic disease management is ensuring patients adhere to their treatment plans. But with RPM facilitating home-based monitoring, healthcare providers can make sure their patients are taking their medications as prescribed and following their treatment regimens. It’s cheaper, and it’s much more effective. Moreover, a specific synergy is at work here: Remote patient monitoring collects continuous data, and precision disease management uses this data to devise personalized treatment.
- Early detection and prevention
This synergy also means that diseases can be discovered and prevented at a much earlier stage. As the RPM identifies subtle health changes (indicating the onset or worsening of a disease), healthcare providers can use precision disease management (PDM) to swiftly adjust treatment plans, introduce preventive measures, and possibly even halt disease progression. This results in improved patient outcomes and a significant reduction in hospitalizations.
- Efficient resource utilization and cost reduction
Since RPM minimizes the need for routine in-person visits, healthcare providers may find that they have been freed up to focus on critical cases. Simultaneously, PDM reduces the trial-and-error often associated with treating chronic conditions, leading to more effective treatments and fewer unnecessary interventions—saving time and effort for the patient and huge costs for the healthcare system at large.
The combined power of RPM and PDM is already making significant strides in managing chronic diseases, with real-life success stories going beyond theoretical benefits. Indeed, success stories and statistical evidence are painting a promising picture.
Take diabetes, for example. A 2020 study conducted at St. Joseph’s/Candler Savannah showed that an RPM platform managed by a pharmacist helped reduce A1C levels by 2.2% over a six-month period. A study by Stanford Children’s Health also showed that, thanks to continuous glucose monitors, 53% of children with Type 1 diabetes reached the standard care goal of having an A1C below 7%. Through continuous glucose monitoring and prompt intervention, RPM has clearly been helping not only patients in managing their condition effectively but also healthcare providers in reducing hospitalizations.
RPM has also been instrumental in managing hypertension. One study, for instance, found that 81% of hypertension patients who enrolled in a home-based blood pressure monitoring program achieved their blood pressure goal in approximately seven weeks. By providing patients and healthcare providers with real-time data, it has facilitated immediate response to concerning trends, leading to better blood pressure control and a healthier patient population.
The combination of RPM and PDM is revolutionizing disease management, providing personalized, data-driven interventions that lead to better outcomes and improved quality of life. Together, RPM and PDM are going to continue gaining momentum in boosting personalized healthcare access, reducing costs, and managing the growing burden of chronic diseases worldwide.
As these innovative approaches continue to demonstrate significant benefits for the healthcare sector, they offer exciting prospects for growth and investment. Vector Medical Group stands ready to guide healthcare organizations in leveraging these breakthrough technologies, enabling them to stay at the forefront of these developments and optimally position themselves for a successful future.