According to the CDC, 90 percent of the United States’ $3.8 trillion annual healthcare expenditures are for people with chronic and mental health conditions. Where prevention isn’t possible, then managing chronic diseases to prevent hospital intervention has the potential to reduce healthcare costs.
Examining Medicare claims alone, the National Center for Biotechnology Information estimates that in-patient surgical care accounts for nearly 50 percent of hospital expenditures and 30 percent total overall healthcare costs.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to reduce healthcare costs by essentially decentralising healthcare and giving patients the devices and monitoring to recover and/or manage healthcare conditions wherever they may be, which can lessen the strain on healthcare costs and capacity. This is enabled through remote patient monitoring.
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is an IoT-enabled technology that pairs medical-grade devices with secure communications and platforms to connect medical providers with patients. The medical data collected by the patient is distributed to the cloud and stored on a patient’s electronic medical record, which can be viewed by medical professionals.
Remote patient monitoring is growing in areas particularly related to chronic disease care including:
Congestive heart failure: Provides patients with pre-programmed devices to record patient vitals. This is applicable in both disease and post-operative care to help reduce time in and trips to the hospital.
Diabetes: Whether through a continuous glucose monitor or digital devices that read finger prick results, patient self-advocacy and autonomy in diabetes management is a growing trend enabled through IoT technology.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Management of COPD through remote patient monitoring enables patients to measure weight, blood pressure, respirations, and oximetry through connected devices. This technology is also available for recovering pneumonia patients for care outside of a traditional hospital setting.
Hypertension: Through both medication adherence and blood pressure readings, management of hypertension can be more proactive and comprehensive through remote patient monitoring.
The benefits to the patient in remote patient monitoring are having greater access to healthcare, more autonomy and self-advocacy, and an approach to comprehensive care from the home.
For the provider, revenue generation is possible by decentralising practices. Logistical issues associated with in-office visits and appointments can be lessened by monitoring patient readings from a unified platform. This can also help practices scale. While the need for more practitioners may arise from increasing patient load, the need for physical infrastructure will be less if a percentage of patients can be monitored remotely.
Digital healthcare is on the rise, whether it’s remote patient monitoring or telehealth for RPM, it’s an area on a significant upswing. According to a report from Mercom Capital Group, funding activity for digital health companies was up by 138 percent in the first half of 2021. This is a fast-moving and competitive market space.
But it’s also one with many hurdles and complexities. One of which is secure communications between patients and the provider. KORE Connected Health Telemetry Solutions is a bundled suite of services that helps connect medical devices to the cloud and back securely using encryption keys.
Learn more about how KORE Connected Health makes launching remote patient monitoring solutions simpler.
Check out our recent eBook, "Remote Patient Monitoring: A Guide to Connected Health Telemetry".
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