In today’s interconnected world, visibility and control are necessary to meet the demands placed on our healthcare systems by rising costs, staff shortages, and a growing aging population.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) helps providers meet these demands by removing the barriers associated with traditional medicine, leading to better patient outcomes, experiences, and overall compliance. Elderly care is an excellent example of where RPM technology and at-home care comes together. Since spring 2020 in Germany, physicians and psychotherapists have used RPM solutions by "offering unrestricted teleconsultation hours, enabling healthcare professionals to deal with a greater number of patients. France too has seen an important rise in teleconsultation services. Before COVID-19, the national insurance fund recorded and reimbursed about 40,000 teleconsultations per month, a figure multiplied ten-fold in one week during the pandemic."
RPM solutions deliver vital patient data wirelessly, alleviating the strain on hospital systems and allowing patients to receive care from the comfort of their own home – creating a hybrid healthcare ecosystem that utilises Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity to improve conditions for patients and providers alike.
While it’s easy to see the benefits and possibilities of RPM, the technology behind it is complex. One area of complexity is data telemetry (the remote collection and transmission of data using sensors), which is crucial for RMP to function. That is where Connected Health Telemetry Solution™ (CHTS) from KORE comes in. In this blog, we’ll define RPM solutions, the impact they can have on patient outcomes, and how KORE’s CHTS and wireless IoT connectivity help make those outcomes possible.
RPM solutions enable clinicians to monitor patients outside of conventional clinical settings, which can increase access to care, lower costs, and decrease unnecessary hospital visits. Devices such as blood glucose meters, heart rate monitors, and surveillance monitors send information over wireless networks to clinicians to help them manage patient care remotely.
Surveillance monitors, for example, can detect if someone has suffered a fall and will automatically alert EMS to dispatch an ambulance. During a football game, a glucose monitor can alert a mother when her child’s blood sugar dips too low and prevent a life-threatening episode. An Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD) continuously monitors heartbeat and delivers electrical shocks when an irregular rhythm is detected, saving critical time that could have been lost waiting for paramedics to arrive.
The benefits of RPM solutions are as diverse as they are endless, but they all equate to real-world, life-saving outcomes.
The COVID-19 pandemic proved remote healthcare is not only a convenient alternative, but a life-saving necessity when hospitals reach max capacity. According to recent study, telecare was deployed during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the resources used in healthcare facilities and minimise infection transmission in an effort to keep the general public protected while continuing to provide access to care remotely.
Remote healthcare also helps individuals living with disabilities and those in remote areas who lack access to hospitals and doctors’ offices. Additionally, ongoing doctor and nurse shortages, in tandem with a growing aging population, have put even greater strain on healthcare systems across the globe.
RPM solutions help alleviate that strain and increase accessibility by providing real-time data and insights that enable the implementation of hybrid healthcare models. These models help increase patient visibility between doctor visits, which improves decision-making, operational efficiency, and risk mitigation.
Without RPM, a patient with a history of heart attacks might visit the A&E several times a month, mistaking normal heart activity for something more sinister. Or worse, they might ignore the signs and risk another attack. Alternatively, a patient wearing a connected heart monitor will automatically receive an alert if a bad reading is detected – improving overall patient outcome and compliance, and freeing up vital hospital space.
RPM is an excellent vehicle for improving patient outcomes; however, every vehicle must have an engine, and for RPM, that engine is wireless connectivity. KORE, a global leader in IoT solutions and provider of IoT connectivity, solutions and analytics offers a purpose-built managed service that aids in the implementation of RPM. KORE uses standard, enterprise-grade gateways and hubs, as well as proven connectivity to support and power RPM solutions, which leads to less variability and reduced error in collecting patient data.
Every RPM solution in the market today requires a telemetry solution, which is largely responsible for more than half the cost. KORE CHTS is a unique offering which can provide scale to the RPM industries and deliver a simpler, lower cost solution than if they were to build and maintain that infrastructure themselves.
CHTS provides integrated device management, secure BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) pairing of medical sensors with a cellular gateway, and secure data routing that seamlessly integrates connected health data into customer applications. Those devices also require reliable connectivity services, which KORE provides, to wirelessly collect and transmit vital health data back to clinicians.
In large health systems, for instance, CHTS standardises the patient experience, which in turn drives higher compliance and better patient outcomes. KORE’s CHTS ultimately helps healthcare workers make better informed clinical decisions while alleviating the burden of managing complex data telemetry.
RPM uses KORE’s CHTS and reliable IoT connectivity to deliver real-time, life-saving data to clinicians and hospital staff that helps alleviate the pressure on hospitals and provides a safe alternative to treat our aging population, as well as those living with disabilities. Rather than one nurse taking a single patient’s blood pressure, RPM allows for even greater patient visibility by enabling that nurse to remotely monitor the blood pressure of several patients simultaneously – just one of many examples of how RPM, powered by CHTS and IoT connectivity, is helping to create a new healthcare ecosystem that prioritises both patients and clinicians alike.
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