Remote patient monitoring, sometimes called remote diagnostic monitoring, is the application of computer technology to monitor and record health and medical data from remote patients using specialized medical equipment and devices. Remote patient monitoring includes a variety of equipment and devices designed to monitor vital signs and record or transmit health information.
Some remote monitoring systems use digital data acquisition systems that are capable of capturing images and exchanging them with the patient’s doctor through the use of a telephone line or Internet. Other remote monitoring systems use RFID technology that allows doctors to read the information directly from the patients’ body scans. Some monitors allow real-time transcription of patients’ notes or other information from the patient’s medical history.
Patients who may be interested in remote patient monitoring should consider their healthcare needs and the available options. This will allow them to narrow down the various types of remote monitoring equipment and devices that are available. When choosing a particular piece of equipment, patients should consider the advantages and disadvantages and weigh the cost, payment options, and the level of service they would receive from a particular piece of equipment.
For example, a heart monitor used to monitor the heart rate of a patient may not be needed if the person taking the test rarely goes to the hospital for routine checkups. In addition, many healthcare providers offer tele-prescribing services that can be useful for patients who are busy with work or school and do not have time to make regular appointments.
There are several types of remote patient monitoring equipment and devices on the market. Depending on the healthcare provider’s workflow, some of these products may not be appropriate for their patients. Some of these instruments are intended to provide continuous monitoring of the vital signs of patients while others are designed to record or transmit data only when needed, such as when medication needs are addressed or other important information needs are identified.
When trying to decide which piece of equipment would be best suited to a patient’s workflow, it is important to consult an expert in the field to get valuable feedback on what type of device would be most beneficial and effective for the patient’s needs.
One of the primary goals of remote patient monitoring is reducing the occurrence of out-of-hours hospital admissions due to emergency room visits due to poor time management.
Many providers utilize complex algorithms to generate an accurate depiction of patient health conditions that help to guide hospital admissions. This reduces the risk of patients presenting to the emergency room complaining of becoming ill or requiring urgent attention.
For instance, emergency room staff can quickly determine whether a patient is exhibiting any of the symptoms associated with heart disease or other potentially fatal conditions if a pre-defined algorithm determines that the symptoms are present. In addition, the algorithms take into consideration the specific factors that may lead to potential emergencies, such as smoking, obesity, and poor fitness habits.
Another major benefit of remote patient monitoring is the prevention of emergency room visits for patients suffering from common but potentially deadly health conditions.