June 30, 2020

Chronic Disease Management with Remote Patient Monitoring

5 ways that remote patient monitoring helps to manage chronic diseases

An overview of the main ways that healthcare providers can use remote patient monitoring (RPM) to improve chronic disease management

Across the US, the number of patients diagnosed with chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension steadily increases each year. So, how can medical professionals manage these chronic conditions in a cost-effective way that balances patient care against the availability of medical resources? 

The answer is remote patient monitoring (RPM). Let’s take a brief look at what RPM is, and how it supports chronic disease management in the long term.

Remote patient monitoring 

Remote patient monitoring lets medical providers manage their patients outside the traditional healthcare setting. In other words, there’s no need for patients to visit the doctor’s office to test their blood pressure or insulin levels — RPM lets doctors and nurses track these numbers remotely

Examples of RPM technology include:

  • Heart rate monitors
  • Blood pressure monitors
  • Glucose meters
  • Voice-based apps
  • Medication alerts

Technology like this allows clinicians to manage a whole range of chronic diseases from the comfort of the patient’s home, including:

  • Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
  • Uncontrolled hypertension
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • Heart failure
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

But what are the benefits of managing these diseases remotely, and how does RPM support effective patient care? Here are the five main reasons healthcare providers should invest in RPM technology today.  

1: Reduced hospital admissions

RPM reduces hospital admissions and ER visits, particularly for conditions such as COPD and heart disease. Since healthcare professionals are monitoring patient stats in real time, they can immediately alter medication without the need for patients to visit hospital if there’s a worrying change in blood pressure, heart rate, or oxygen saturation.

2: Increased patient responsibility

Remote patient monitoring devices put patients back in control of their own health, which is key to effective disease management in the long term. For example, nurses can use medication alerts to ensure that patients take their medication on time, and patients can track their own vital stats throughout the day. 

What’s more, when a patient can see for themselves how well their body responds to medication, they’re more likely to take it regularly and finish their treatment programs. 

3: Reduced demand for healthcare professionals

Unsurprisingly, chronic conditions place a huge burden on healthcare providers. RPM, however, helps clinicians manage their time and resources more effectively. In fact, studies show that RPM users report a 41 percent drop in patient telephone calls, and 47 percent fewer patient visits. By freeing up clinical hours, doctors are free to concentrate on their sickest patients with far less interruption.

4: Improved acute management

Gone are the days when patients need to sit in long queues in the ER or the doctor’s office for a simple medication change. With RPM, diabetes patients, for example, can instantly up their insulin levels if their blood glucose levels become unstable. It’s far less likely that they’ll become acutely ill, because they can address the issue right away.

5: Streamlined clinical care

RPM leads to a more effective, streamlined patient experience. Since patients can manage their condition at home, and clinicians can free up their working hours, RPM makes healthcare more efficient and patient-friendly, but no less effective. 

The future for chronic disease management

There’s no doubt that RPM will make it easier and cheaper to manage chronic conditions across the US without ever compromising on patient care. As chronic disease levels continue to rise around the country, RPM enables clinicians to give their patients the support they need while reducing hospital admissions and freeing up hospital beds for the sickest individuals.