After we have closed the chapter on pandemics, there are many other interferences. One thing is certain – the healthcare system is in danger of being disrupted. While the COVID-19 pandemic caused havoc in the world, it also encouraged the use of telehealth as an alternative to regular physical visits. Remote patient monitoring is one area that has seen rapid growth in telehealth over the past two-years.
Let’s find out what remote patient monitoring looks like and how artificial intelligence can save the day.
Basics of remote patient monitoring
Remote patient monitoring (RPM), a rapidly growing field in healthcare, uses technology to collect patient information outside of the traditional hospital or doctor’s office setting. RPM can be used for a variety patient data including vital signs and activity levels.
Fortune Business Insights projects that the global remote patient monitoring device market will reach over $101 billion by 2028. RPM software is being increasingly adopted due to increasing prevalence of chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Remote patient monitoring has many benefits
Remote monitoring of patients is a great way to monitor someone or a group of people that are unable to be monitored in person. Remote monitoring can sometimes be used to monitor vital signs such as blood pressure and pulse rate. Remote monitoring of patients can be used to monitor those who are at high risk of hypothermia and other medical conditions that need constant attention.
RPM solutions have a tremendous cost-saving potential. RPM solutions were ranked by 69% of healthcare professionals as the #1 way to reduce overall costs.
Remote patient monitoring is a way for patients to receive professional diagnosis without the need to travel to the hospital or clinic. Remote treatments can also be translated into:
Maximized time with patients (no routine vitals or questions required, as the data is already available).
Increased accessibility to RPM solutions has led to improved communication.
Patient safety is improved
Hospitals became the epicenter of contagious diseases during the pandemic. Online appointments have emerged as the best way to receive professional advice. Remote patient monitoring allows doctors and nurses to monitor patients remotely, which helps prevent people from getting sick in hospitals.
Remote monitoring of patients can help improve the quality and efficiency of care. It allows doctors and nurses to remotely monitor their vitals, allowing them to provide care without visiting them personally. Patients with chronic conditions can receive better care if they have access to this information. They can also be monitored more frequently.
Better patient outcomes
This increases the likelihood of patients following through with treatment, as nurses and doctors can access data 24 hours a day. Patients are able to live independently and take an active role in their care.
Access to healthcare is improved
Remote patient monitoring also reduces inequalities that are associated with traditional healthcare. Remote consultations and follow ups are also possible with online monitoring solutions for rural residents.
What is RPM?
There are many RPM system options on the market. They come in different sizes and shapes. While some RPM systems can be used as standalone devices, others can be integrated with existing electronic health records (EHRs). All RPM systems can gather and send patient-generated data to healthcare providers to monitor.
RPM solutions provide homecare telehealth capabilities which can be embedded into:
Stand-alone medical measurement devices (patches and blood glucose concentrations, pulse oximeters, etc.)
Implantable devices (e.g., Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices (CIEDs))
Digital platforms that enable 24/7 monitoring and support of patients, including telehealth.
RPM solutions are usually connected to the cloud to enable compliant data sharing and seamless patient access.
This is a step-by–step guide on how to deliver a patient’s vitals using RPM software to the healthcare provider.
To authenticate a particular device, a patient must register with the system.
The system initiates data collection and monitoring via a medical device.
The device collects and transmits data from an RPM server, or to the cloud.
Algorithms analyze patient data and generate reports and visualizations.
The doctor uses visualization to guide him or her in corresponding actions.
Telehealth: How artificial intelligence can help
Artificial intelligence has had a significant impact on healthcare. This has led to a rise in the AI market. Artificial intelligence is expected to reach $187 billion by 2030 in the healthcare market.
Telehealth and remote monitoring are other areas where AI has potential. AI-driven technologies have made RPM solutions more than just a data aggregator. They are now an advanced data analytics platform. RPM platforms, when paired with analytics, allow physicians to integrate patient information into clinical workflows, make accurate predictions, and flag patients at risk.
Artificial intelligence allows for proactive care and data-driven, more tailored treatment. Let’s now see how machine intelligence fits in.
The L.A. County Department of Health Services reported that telehealth monitoring for diabetic retinalopathy reduced patient visits by around 14,000 visits. Artificial intelligence can be added at the screening stage to reduce patient wait times and the number of visits.
Machine learning classification algorithms can be used to analyze RPM data and identify patients who are at high risk for developing certain conditions. Patients can upload images of their medical records to a secure server. AI-based image recognition can detect anomalies even without professional help.
Precision medicine has also been made possible by artificial intelligence. This AI-powered system compares patient’s medical images with a database that contains high-quality treatment plans, created by certified professionals. The system then uses these insights to create a personalized treatment plan.
IBM claims that expert systems can group patients based on similar treatment responses in order to create the best treatment plan.
Remote patient monitoring also includes the responsibility of engaging patients in medication compliance and timely appointments. AI can analyze software data to generate action items. These include reminders for appointments and follow-up actions. Chatbots, powered by AI and NLP are essential for automated communication and improved access to care.
Management of chronic diseases
The healthcare industry has never been able to fully understand the complex issues of managing chronic diseases. AI can detect early signs in patients’ data to prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer and kidney disease. Algorithms can detect CKD patients based on stage and presence of acute kidney injury.
Remote monitoring of patients via AI: A match made in heaven
Remote patient monitoring is an important addition to the traditional healthcare system. It makes professional diagnosis and treatment more accessible for all. RPM software is enhanced by artificial intelligence to increase its data processing capabilities. This makes it a useful tool that can complement offline treatments. Artificial intelligence improves efficiency in diagnosis and personalized treatment. It also helps to prevent disease and makes it more proactive.