May 21, 2021
The Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring for Urban Dwellers
Much has been said about the benefits of remote patient monitoring (RPM) for those living in remote areas. However, for urban dwellers, the technology also has plenty of perks.
The positives of RPM for urban dwellers extend to both patients and healthcare institutions. But what are they, and why is the technology so important for people living in bigger cities? This article will answer both of these questions and more.
The Definition of Urban
The term “urban” relates to cities and other densely populated areas. Rather than agricultural jobs, many people living in these areas work in service-based industries (e.g., hospitality, retail) or office-based professions (e.g., technology, banking, education).
Urbanism in the US has grown significantly in the past 60 years. According to the University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Systems, an estimated 83% of people across the country live in urban areas.
In 1950, 63% of Americans were urban dwellers. By 2050, the population living in these parts of the country is expected to rise to 89%.
What are Telemedicine, RPM, and CCM?
Telemedicine refers to the use of technology—telephone, video conferencing, or specialized device—to offer healthcare and guidance to patients. The term covers a growing spectrum of services that empower care teams to assess patients’ conditions without the patient traveling to a clinic or hospital.
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) uses specialized devices to share data about a patient’s physiologic condition with healthcare providers, such as vital signs, blood sugar, blood oxygen, and even EKG. These devices may alert caregivers to problems like noncompliance with medication schedules or rapid escalation of symptoms.
When a patient has a chronic condition, their health can be supported using RPM and a care plan that includes long-term strategies to manage their symptoms, and this is referred to as chronic care management (CCM).
RPM and CCM have many benefits for care teams and patients, no matter where they live. Here are some benefits for people who reside in urban areas.
Benefit #1: Less Stress
Larger cities in the US can be particularly stressful to get around. Public transport is often slow and subject to delays, even in cities like New York and Los Angeles, where the network is quite extensive.
Driving can be even worse. In 2019, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute revealed that the average American spent 54 hours a year in traffic. This rose to 119 hours for people in Los Angeles and 103 for those in San Francisco.
Traveling to and from clinics adds extra stress and can impact both mental and physical health over time. RPM addresses this by bringing healthcare directly to the patient’s home instead.
Benefit #2: Patients Can Focus on Work
For those who cannot do their work remotely, booking physical appointments often means needing to take time off. This can cause issues for people working hourly since their income is directly impacted. However, even for people who earn a salary, needing to fit in clinic visits can impact productivity and delay any projects they may be working on.
With RPM, patients have more flexibility to choose times suitable for them, and they can focus on their work with fewer distractions.
Benefit #3: Less Pressure on Clinics in Terms of Capacity
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the fragility of healthcare, especially when there are not enough resources to deal with significant events. According to a 2020 survey by the World Health Organization, staff reassignments were necessary for 94% of the 155 participating countries.
Hospital capacities were also highlighted. In Europe, for example, many countries struggled to provide space for patients as infection rates spiked towards the end of 2020. Private clinics and offices treating other ailments now need more space for maintaining social distance.
The same WHO report above also pointed to delays in treatment for other conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes. RPM helps clinics continue providing support to patients who need it remotely while better allocating their physical resources.
Benefit #4: Fewer No-Shows
No-shows may seem harmless to the individual. However, they are detrimental to both clinics and the country as a whole. According to research in 2016, no-shows cost US healthcare over $150 billion each year.
Common reasons patients might not show up to an appointment include:
- Unable to get to the clinic via either car or public transport
- Not canceling when they no longer need the appointment, thus denying someone else the opportunity to get one
- Scheduling conflicts
RPM can reduce the number of no-shows due to its convenience. Patients can therefore receive their treatment while at the same time opening up spots to those who need in-person care. Meanwhile, the healthcare sector can save a lot of money.
How ChronWell Can Help
ChronWell offers RPM technology to clinics throughout the US. Our services are developed with decades’ worth of experience and designed to help patients in urban and rural areas.
Our technology enables you to monitor patients’ progress outside of appointments, allowing them to schedule meeting times that best fit their schedule.
To find out how ChronWell can help you continue serving patients while reducing overhead and helping your practice achieve its goals, contact us today.
If you found this article interesting, please share it on social media.