A week doesn’t pass that a report isn’t published about the growth or benefit of remote patient monitoring – also known as telemonitoring. The excitement dates back to 2013, when FierceHealthcare published a report stating that remote patient monitoring would save healthcare $36 billion globally by the end of this year. Three years later, in 2016, Becker’s Healthcare reported that telemonitoring could save more than $8,000 annually per patient. Most recently, just earlier this year, Healthcare Intelligence Network reported that the percentage of healthcare organizations using some form of telehealth was now at an all-time high of 74%.
If you weren’t convinced that telemonitoring is here to stay, then perhaps you are now. The benefits of remote patient monitoring are real. And in case you are wondering what they are, here are four of them.
Making Healthcare More Affordable
Telemonitoring saves money. Period.
Numerous studies and reports have shown that remote patient monitoring is effective in reducing hospital re-admissions, hospital patient days, and E.R. visits. But that’s not all. With telemonitoring, physician office visits are reduced, too. The side benefit of all this is that with the decreasing number of unnecessary hospital and E.R. visits, healthcare organizations are becoming less crowded and better able to provide high-quality healthcare to those who need it. As an example, students at the University of Oxford’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering recently developed an app to better manage pregnant women with diabetes. The students tested the free app with more than 1,000 patients at the Royal Berkshire hospital; the app reduced clinic visits by 25%.
Making Healthcare More Accessible
Telemonitoring allows patients to connect with caregivers in ways that weren’t possible a decade ago. When coupled with a URAC-accredited health call center, telemonitoring allows patients around-the-clock access to a nurse, bridging the healthcare accessibility gap with a single mouse click or phone call. For patients in rural areas, or for patients for whom travelling to see their healthcare provider is difficult, remote patient monitoring deepens and enriches the provider-patient relationship by offering access to healthcare providers who wouldn’t be accessible by any other means. In short, telemonitoring brings healthcare providers right to a patient’s home, making healthcare universally accessible to anyone with broadband connectivity.
Making Healthcare More Timely
With telemonitoring, data can be sent from patients to the health call center in real time via mobile medical devices that perform routine tests without the necessity of visiting a medical provider. This is an important advantage for people with long-term illnesses or chronic diseases who must communicate with healthcare professionals more often. Telemonitoring enables easy and quick communication for patients suffering from COPD, congestive heart failure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and more. Armed with timely information, nurses can counsel patients online – and take preventive measures when necessary – to prevent patients from having a negative healthcare event.
Making Healthcare More Convenient
Incorporating remote patient monitoring into chronic disease management can significantly improve a person’s quality of life. Patients with chronic illnesses who are being remotely monitored report higher patient satisfaction, better clinical outcomes, and overall increased gratitude that they are able to spend more time at home with their families than in hospitals.
About Karen Thomas
Karen Thomas is a certified management accountant and the president of Advanced TeleHealth Solutions, one of the leading telehealth monitoring companies in the U.S. Karen is a nationally renowned speaker, a lecturer for Missouri State University’s graduate-level Health Care Administration program, and a contributing author to, “Home Telehealth: Connecting Care Within the Community,” published by Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd. Karen has appeared on numerous webinars and has spoken at dozens of conferences on the benefits of remote patient monitoring, generating enhanced clinical outcomes, patient engagement, and coordination of care. She is a member of the Missouri Governors Innovation Task Force, a past board member of the National Association for Home Care and Private Duty Home Care Association, a member of the American Telemedicine Association and the American Society on Aging, and a past ex-officio member of the advisory board of HealthCare Technology Association of America.