With healthcare turned on its head due to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote patient monitoring (RPM) is becoming an essential tool. This technology has numerous benefits for both patients and healthcare institutions. However, there are issues, including adoption.
The good news is that several products are emerging to tackle these problems. Here’s how improving RPM services will benefit chronic illness patients.
What is RPM?
RPM is a means of collecting a variety of information from patients, including medical data.
Below is a simple diagram explaining how RPM works:
As the name suggests, the technology is designed to help people away from clinics and hospitals. Using RPM, more patients can access adequate healthcare.
The Benefits of RPM for Chronic Illness Sufferers
For many chronic illness sufferers, the key to either tackling their problems or reducing the symptoms is education. For example, type 2 diabetes is often caused by poor dietary habits and a sedentary lifestyle. RPM enables doctors to offer their patients advice and information to help them make better life choices during and after the recovery phase.
RPM allows patients to receive long-term care in a place they find comfortable and at times that are more convenient for them.
No Need to Travel
Having a chronic illness not only affects patients physically; it also has a significant mental impact. One important contributor to stress is the need to travel long distances regularly.
With RPM, traveling is no longer a necessity. Beyond improving mental well-being, patients also save money on gas or public transportation costs.
During COVID-19, safety is critical for chronic illness sufferers. Many conditions, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), have been linked to a higher risk of developing severe symptoms.
The pandemic has made hospital wards and clinics more dangerous for people with such conditions. Fortunately, when using RPM, patients don’t need to visit these places as often and therefore have less exposure to viruses and harmful bacteria.
When patients can only book appointments at certain times, keeping up with their condition status is difficult—and so is providing the most up-to-date advice and medication.
RPM allows doctors to monitor patients and make necessary changes much faster than they could otherwise.
Issues Facing RPM
Difficulties Engaging with New Technology
As with any technological innovation, some people find learning how to use RPM difficult. This is especially true for generations with less exposure to technology, who are used to getting help in clinics.
RPM requires engagement and a willingness to learn from both doctors and patients.
Reluctance on Uptake
Many Americans are skeptical of technology, especially when it comes to sharing personal information.
According to Pew Research Center, 36% of participants in a 2019 survey said they were very concerned about how companies use their personal information. A further 43% were somewhat worried.
When offering RPM, it’s up to doctors and their institutions to reassure customers about how their data will be used.
Keeping patients engaged can be a challenge outside of a clinic. Users might feel less motivated to keep up with their appointments, or they may simply forget.
When monitoring patients remotely, both parties need to be engaged. Otherwise, it won’t work.
Lack of In-Person Contact
Although digital healthcare can help stop the spread of germs, a lack of in-person contact also comes with its share of problems. Working with patients remotely makes it difficult to establish a genuine connection. For some, not being able to meet in person might also trigger feelings of isolation.
RPM is reliant on a good internet connection. If a patient’s region is suffering from connectivity issues (or they don’t have a decent internet plan in general), offering high-quality support will be challenging.
How These Obstacles Are Being Addressed
Proper Patient Onboarding
When starting treatment for a new patient, having a proper onboarding strategy is vital. Doctors need to help set up the RPM software, outline expectations, and make clear what they will offer.
Investing in Easy-to-Use Platforms
To avoid a steep learning curve, invest in an easy-to-use platform that fits your needs.
Ensuring Patient Security
The best way to get more patients to adopt technology—and be less skeptical of data use—is by ensuring patient security. Read up on compliance laws and make it clear how you will use information.
How ChronWell Can Help
ChronWell offers user-friendly technology for patients located throughout the US. Our RPM technology allows you to connect with patients and monitor their situations round-the-clock.
The technology can be used to record how much progress is being made towards your patients’ goals—and intervene when you feel it’s necessary to do so.
To find out how ChronWell’s technology can help you monitor your patients remotely with minimal friction, contact us today.
If you found this article interesting, please share it on social media.