As technology advances, it’s becoming easier and easier for patients to manage their health from a remote location. This is especially true in the field of patient monitoring, where devices such as the Apple Watch and Fitbit can now track everything from heart rate to blood pressure to activity levels. While there are many benefits to remote patient monitoring, there are also several challenges that can make it difficult to adopt.
What Is Remote Patient Monitoring?
There are many different types of patient monitoring, but they all serve one purpose: collect data about patients who cannot travel to clinics or hospitals to have their vitals checked.
Remote patient monitoring is the process of using these devices, which are becoming more advanced every day, to collect data about patients over time and identify ways to improve their health. While remote monitoring was first used in cardiac care decades ago, new technology has opened up the possibility for new types of monitoring such as neurovascular care, wound care, and even mental health.
Remote Patient Monitoring Benefits
There are many benefits to remote patient monitoring, chief among them is the ability to reduce hospital admissions. In some cases, patients can be monitored from home so closely that they never have to set foot in a hospital. This not only saves the patient time and money but also frees up hospital beds for those who truly need them.
Remote patient monitoring can also improve patient outcomes. The reason for this is that as devices become more advanced, they can provide doctors with data that is not only relevant to the patient’s condition but also can be used to improve care. For example, a doctor might use telemonitoring software to compare the outcomes of two different patients who have had similar procedures and recommend a specific protocol for one patient based on their past performance.
Remote patient monitoring can also be a cost-effective way to improve care. In the case of non-hospital-based monitoring, the costs are low and equipment is sturdy enough to be reused for multiple patients.
Challenges of Remote Patient Monitoring
While there are many benefits to remote patient monitoring, there are also several challenges that can make it difficult to adopt. One of the biggest challenges is the fact that not all patients are comfortable using technology to manage their health.
The other big challenge is the lack of standardization in the field. There are many different types of devices and software being used in different settings, which can make it difficult for technology companies to create a unified product that will work in every location.
Even with these challenges, remote patient monitoring is growing quickly.
In-Person Patient Monitoring vs Remote Patient Monitoring
There are two main types of healthcare observation, in-person care and remote.
In-person care is when a clinician checks the health of a patient by physically being in the same room (or at least the same building). This not only means checking vital signs like heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure but also includes assessing the patient’s mood, mental state, and overall wellbeing.
Remote patient monitoring is when a clinician checks the health of a patient by remotely accessing data from devices like the Apple Watch or Fitbit. This data can include things like heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure but also includes assessing the patient’s mood, mental state, and overall wellbeing.
Which Is Better?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. In some cases, in-person care may be the best option, while in other cases, a remote patient monitoring app may be a better choice.
What is important is that both types of monitoring are available so that patients and clinicians can choose the option that is best for them.
Future of Remote Patient Monitoring
The future of healthcare monitoring is bright, as technology advances and more and more devices become available. Remote patient monitoring has already been shown to be a cost-effective way to improve care, and as it becomes more standardized, it is sure to become even more popular.
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