COVID-19 Care Home Program with Telehealth and RPMChallenge
In 2019, USC Medical center launched a pilot telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) cardiac program. In coordination with the USC Medical center, Home’s pilot program targeted high-risk cardiac patients to enhance outpatient care, mitigate patient anxiety, and reduce hospital readmissions and ED visits. Within six months, Home’s pilot program achieved a 3.6% overall 30-day hospital readmission rate and recorded a 95% patient satisfaction rate.
By April 2020, COVID-19 was spreading across California and neighboring states, prompting Home to leverage their experience with telehealth and RPM to address the following COVID-19 challenges:
Relieve hospital strain by maximizing bed capacity through early patient discharge and prevented hospitalizations.
Curb community spread by monitoring at-risk patient populations including those experiencing homelessness and non-English speaking communities.
Conserve PPE suppliesand protect staff by limiting exposure and in-person visits.
Top 10 cases Remote Patient Monitoring Use Cases – From Prevention to RecoveryRemote Patient Monitoring Use Cases – From Prevention to Recovery
RPM technologies make healthcare more efficient, especially with time-savings and added income. The benefits can be seen in many patient populations but are most significant for individuals battling chronic diseases. In addition, digital technologies ensure timely advice and care, leading to less anxiety and a more accessible experience for those experiencing health complications.
The prominent remote patient monitoring use cases lie in chronic disease management, where RPM enables continuous monitoring of patient’s vital signs, medication adherence, and symptom progression. One important systematic review assessed variables discussed in clinical studies on telemonitoring. Researchers identified 272 articles published between 2000 and 2018. The review reported positive results, with cardiovascular disease as the most commonly studied topic. Researchers concluded that RPM enhances patient care and treatment effectiveness by transitioning from results to conclusions.
Patients who qualify for remote patient monitoring use medical devices that measure and transmit their physiologic data to their providers. Below is a list of 10 remote patient monitoring use cases.
Implantable patient remote monitoring, such as pacemakers and heart resynchronization therapy, monitors a patient’s heart rate and physiological condition. Remote cardiac monitoring devices are especially beneficial for patients at risk of cardiac arrest. When a patient’s wearable or implanted device detects abnormalities relating to cardiac arrest, they immediately alert the patient’s healthcare provider and provide emergency procedures.
Regarding remote patient monitoring use cases in cardiac care, research has shown that RPM can significantly reduce systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) compared to usual care and self-monitoring alone for hypertension. In addition, one frequently published meta-analysis shows a positive effect on heart failure-related admissions and all-cause mortality rates. Finally, recent clinical guidelines strongly recommend the use of RPM for Atrial fibrillation detection in both stroke and non-stroke patients for atrial fibrillation
2. Diabetes Remote Patient Monitoring Use Cases
Patients with diabetes can benefit from slight blood pressure and blood sugar level monitoring. The specialized software developed for remote blood glucose monitoring devices immediately detects abnormalities, ensuring the patient receives timely treatment. Some devices even provide diet, medication, and nutritional advice to maintain normal blood sugar levels. For instance, the UCHealth Virtual Health Center remote patient monitoring program has successfully used technology and coaching to monitor and remotely manage blood sugar levels.
In addition, some remote patient monitoring service companies, like Tenovi, track and analyze patient usage of lancets and test strips and provides replenishment programs for glucose monitoring supplies. As a result, Tenovi automatically ships and refills blood glucose meter (BGM) supplies, ensuring patients always have the necessary remote blood glucose monitoring supplies on hand.
The following example of remote patient monitoring uses cases is for cancer patients. Remote patient monitoring enables clinicians to observe cancer development and treatment effectiveness closely. It also transitions cancer care outside the conventional clinic setting into patients’ everyday lives for more consistent and comfortable patient monitoring.
According to research published in The British Medical Journal (BMJ), remote patient monitoring for cancer patients is an effective method for cancer care management. RPM provides improved access to care, as the patient and provider can communicate virtually when symptoms are detected with remote medical devices. In addition, remote monitoring for cancer patients uses FDA-cleared RPM devices such as blood pressure meters, scales, thermometers, and pulse oximeters to track signs in real-time.
4. Asthma: Remote Patient Monitoring Use Cases
Like the prior remote patient monitoring use cases, asthma patients also benefit from RPM. A remote peak flow meter allows asthma patients to test respiratory function quickly and enable the patient and physician to assess symptoms. In addition, closely monitoring peak flow meters in asthma patients helps identify asthma flare-ups early. A Remote peak flow meter is used to grade the severity of acute asthma. When a qualified healthcare professional reviews and monitors the values,
Because symptoms of mild COPD aren’t always apparent, people can experience critical drops in blood-oxygen levels and not even know it. If a patient’s blood oxygen saturation level (SpO2) is under 90%, the RPM platform will automatically alert the clinician for quick intervention. Continuous monitoring can reduce hospital admissions and emergency room visits in COPD patients. In addition, remote monitoring devices can lower flare-up rates. Long-term remote monitoring encourages COPD patients to manage their condition actively. Patients also see lifestyle choices affect their vital signs. Remote pulse oximetry devices determine how well a patient’s lungs function by using light to measure oxygen levels in red blood cells. Blood-oxygen levels are typically tested at the fingertips with a pulse oximeter to measure how well oxygen is distributed to areas furthest from the heart.
6. Elderly Patient Care
As the aging population continues to grow staggeringly, this population is becoming a priority among remote patient monitoring use cases in healthcare. When adults 50 and older were surveyed, 80% said they preferred to age in place for as long as possible. RPM is crucial in caring for elderly populations because it enables caregivers to monitor patient well-being remotely, detect falls or emergencies, and intervene swiftly. Telehealth and remote patient monitoring provide real-time health data, eliminating the reliance on outdated snapshots for better patient care. One of the critical benefits of telehealth and remote patient monitoring is the ability to monitor patients and prevent potentially dangerous situations.
7. Dementia Care: Remote Patient Monitoring Use Cases
To accommodate an aging U.S. population, remote patient monitoring offers better care and treatment options for those battling dementia. Remote medical devices are highly beneficial to this population. RPM devices provide surveillance, allowing providers and caregivers to prevent and respond to falls and providing daily medication reminders. Some RPM devices even offer GPS monitors to help family members and caregivers keep track of the patient at all times. Telemedicine is valuable for individuals with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s Disease, improving access, diagnosis, treatment, and personalized care.
8. Bariatric Care
Bariatric patients require rigorous tracking throughout the often long pre-operative and postoperative process. Patients often do not meet the weight loss requirements, resulting in the cancellation of surgery. This can be challenging for both patient and provider teams, though it is common in the U.S. healthcare system. In fact, canceling elective procedures costs roughly $16.3 to $17.7 billion monthly in lost revenue.
Surgery cancellation prevention is one of the most practical remote patient monitoring use cases. Patient issues are the most common reason for bariatric surgery cancellation. Therefore, leveraging RPM for consistent patient tracking can significantly reduce the likelihood of cancellations. By automating the pre-and postoperative process, healthcare teams can save time and cost while ensuring comprehensive monitoring of patients.
The first and best way for healthcare providers to prevent cancellations is by leveraging remote weight monitoring through RPM. This approach helps patients meet qualifying milestones by tracking their weight loss progress. With RPM scales, healthcare providers can motivate bariatric patient candidates to lose the weight required for surgery qualification. Additionally, automated reminders can easily be set up to improve patient adherence to the prescribed weight loss plan.
9. Postoperative Care: Remote Patient Monitoring Use Cases
Among several compelling remote patient monitoring use cases that emerge is in postoperative care. Monitoring vital signs after surgery, especially during the critical 30-day period, can help prevent postoperative deaths after the patient is discharged. RPM allows surgeons to remotely track patients’ recovery progress, monitor incisions, and provide timely guidance, reducing the need for frequent hospital visits. A McMaster University study reported that patients using remote patient monitoring after surgery experienced lower readmission rates (5.3%), reduced pain after a week (13.9%), and fewer medication errors (24.2%).
10. Remote Pregnancy Monitoring
Remote pregnancy monitoring solutions help to effectively manage high-risk pregnancies before, during, and after delivery. Pregnancy requires frequent obstetrics visits to help spot any health issues early when complications are easier to treat. High-risk pregnancy patients require an increased frequency of in-office visits. Sufficient evidence exists to support the effectiveness of telehealth and remote patient monitoring in patients with chronic disease, pregnancy, short-term illness, and more.
Understanding Remote Patient Monitoring Use Cases
The 10 discussed remote patient monitoring use cases highlight its transformative impact on various healthcare scenarios, from chronic disease management to postoperative care. By bringing healthcare into patients’ homes, RPM improves patient outcomes, allows for timely intervention, and enhances accessibility to healthcare. As remote patient monitoring continues to evolve, healthcare providers can leverage this technology to deliver better patient care, increase efficiency, and achieve positive health outcomes.