Healthcare provider discussing benefits of remote patient monitoring

Benefits of remote patient monitoring

Medically reviewed on February 24, 2023 by Jillian Foglesong Stabile, MD, FAAFP. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

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Remote patient monitoring, or RPM, has gone from a niche healthcare solution to a common practice. It’s estimated that 30 million US patients will use the service by the year 2024 [1].

Whether your healthcare provider has offered RPM as part of your treatment plan or you’re searching for ways to streamline your medical care, you may have dozens of questions about the tool. For instance, what are its benefits? Is it superior to traditional healthcare appointments and assessments?

You’re in the right place. Read on as we examine the advantages of Remote Patient Monitoring and the particular scenarios that benefit the most from it.

What is remote patient monitoring?

So, what is remote patient monitoring, exactly? RPM uses medical technology to enable healthcare practitioners to track and gather health data about their patients [1]. With the information they glean, they can more efficiently determine treatment plans. This could be adjusting a medication dosage or providing dietary recommendations (and countless other actions in between).

Many different tools may be used to collect patient data, such as [2]:

  • Apps
  • Digital blood pressure monitors/blood pressure cuffs
  • Continuous glucose monitors
  • Pulse oximeters
  • Weight monitors
  • Sleep apnea monitors
  • Fetal monitors
  • Thermometers
  • Smartwatches

As the list suggests, RPM service can be used in a variety of healthcare settings. It may be particularly beneficial for patients managing:

  • Heart conditions
  • Dementia and other neurological conditions
  • Loss of bodily autonomy (e.g. at risk of falling or accidents)

RPM is just one element in a rapidly evolving suite of virtual healthcare services that have expanded exponentially since the onset of the pandemic. Some services you may already be familiar with include:

  • Telehealth appointments
  • Digital lab results
  • Online scheduling tools
  • “Store and record” methods of electronically submitting medical information

What are the benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring?

The idea of healthcare organizations using RPM may feel foreign and unsettling at first, but it was designed to improve both patient experience and patient outcomes. Let’s touch on 7 ways it’s meeting those objectives.

Increased convenience

From taking time off from work to dealing with the commute to your care provider’s office, there are plenty of reasons (or so it seems) to delay or even cancel your medical appointments.

This became especially problematic during the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, an estimated 4 in 10 American adults avoided medical treatment—a pattern that was more prevalent among individuals with disabilities or two or more underlying health conditions [3].

A robust remote patient monitoring system helps solve this issue. With the use of technology, your results are electronically transmitted to your healthcare provider, reducing the need to see your physician in person and helping your provider get a more complete view of your health in settings other than just their office.

Enriched comfort

Before the advent of telehealth, simple procedures like taking your pulse or checking your blood pressure had to be administered in a healthcare setting.

Remote patient monitoring technology enables you to administer these exams from the comfort of your home. This can be especially beneficial for:

  • Seniors who may have trouble getting to and from their care provider’s office
  • Individuals who are immunocompromised
  • People who are too ill to travel
  • Situations when discretion is important (for some individuals, this could be taking an STI test)

Assistance with treatment plan maintenance

An estimated 45% of individuals with chronic health conditions forget to take their medications without some form of assistance. A remote patient monitoring solution is just one way automation is being used to help patients remember to take their medications and adhere to their treatment plans [1].

Reduced healthcare costs

Whether your primary care physician is twenty minutes or two hours away, RPM cuts down on travel costs—and the amount of time you must take off from work to manage your health [5]. This may be especially attractive to patients who live in remote areas and those who are traveling abroad (but be aware that state licensing restrictions may affect people's ability to get care across state lines).

RPM can also save patients money overall, in part because it may reduce emergency room visits and scale down healthcare costs [6]:

  • Average cost of emergency room visits – $1,734
  • Average cost of physician appointments – $149
  • Average cost of telehealth appointments – $79

With healthcare costs continually rising, every dollar counts. Moreover, when you save money on healthcare visits, you can direct your budget towards items that may organically boost your health (like nutritional supplements and fresh, wholesome food).

Real-time reporting

Certain RPM devices, such as continuous glucose monitoring, let healthcare providers the ability to monitor their patient’s health in real-time—without the need to visit a medical center.

This can be exceptionally valuable for health conditions that need to be evaluated not in an isolated moment, but over the course of a longer period. Common conditions in this category include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Sleep disturbances and disorders
  • Mental health conditions
  • Hormones
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Respiratory disease(s)
  • COVID-19

Stronger physician-patient relationships

The relationship you have with your healthcare professional can feel thin if you only see each other during times of necessity or for routine checkups. It may also be challenging to get ahold of your care provider. For patients who live in large cities, it can take up to 24 days to secure an appointment [4].

Poor communications between people and their healthcare providers can lead to:

  • Increased stress for you and your loved ones
  • Worsening of your health condition
  • Negative effects on your job/place of employment

Using a remote patient monitoring system encourages prompt responses and ongoing communication with your healthcare provider. This can be tremendously valuable for people experiencing both acute and chronic health conditions.

Diminished chances of infection

The rise in virtual care during the coronavirus pandemic may have been out of pure necessity but its ongoing popularity has benefitted patients across the nation and the globe. RPM may help reduce exposure to contagious diseases sheerly by helping patients avoid waiting rooms in medical facilities.

Decreased morbidity and fatalities

Remote Patient Monitoring can alert you to any changes in your health status that require emergency medical treatment. In turn, this enhanced communication may help prevent your condition from deteriorating. In this way, RPM is designed to help reduce morbidity and fatalities across the board.

Furthermore, RPM may result in the early detection of diseases and help patients, and their healthcare practitioners, take preventative measures [8].

What are the benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring for the healthcare industry?

Peace of mind, bolstered confidence, and gaining control over one’s health also top the list for patients [1]. But what about the advantages of RPM for the healthcare industry more broadly?

The pluses of RPM aren’t exclusively for patients. In many ways, it has fundamentally altered the medical field:

  • Decreased hospital visits and costs – Remote patient monitoring allows healthcare providers to counsel patients from afar and direct them toward the appropriate resources for their conditions. In this way, allowing patients better access to counseling and preventive care from home can help curb unnecessary expenses for healthcare organizations as well as patient costs.
  • Economizing healthcare counseling is crucial, as McKinsey asserts that 20% of emergency room visits can be avoided with the use of RPM. Indeed, implementing RPM enabled the University of Pittsburgh to decrease hospital readmission rates by 76% [1].
  • Increased access to medical help and improved care – RPM (and telehealth in general) is more expedient than traditional appointments. The average telehealth visit, part and parcel of RPM, takes 20% less time than in-person appointments. As a result, healthcare practitioners have more time to see more patients, thereby expanding healthcare.
  • Saving time can be especially useful in regions that have fewer licensed healthcare providers. It can also ensure that the time healthcare practitioners do have with their patients is more focused, of higher quality, and compassionate.
  • Reduced exposure to infections – Healthcare workers are vulnerable to the same bugs as patients in the ER or waiting rooms. The use of RPM may help moderate their exposure to contagious diseases and ultimately curb the overall spread of infections [7].

What are the disadvantages of Remote Patient Monitoring?

RPM may have a host of benefits, but like most things in life, it has its limitations too. These could include:

  • Lack of universal accessibility – Many RPM modalities require strong and consistent WiFi, which isn’t available to all patients. Additionally, not everyone owns a smartphone. Older adults and other populations may also struggle with tech devices, particularly if they’re not given proper training and instructions.
  • Limited testing – Technology is progressing at lightning speed, but for the time being more sophisticated tests still can’t be administered remotely. Some common ones that still require in-person visits include MRIs, X-rays, and CT scans.

Stay apprised of your health and wellness with Everlywell

Remote patient monitoring is here to stay, and it’s estimated more than a quarter of the population will use the technology by 2025 [2]. Convenient and cost-effective, it can be transformative for people living with both acute and chronic health conditions. It can even help relatively healthy individuals prioritize their vitality and overall well-being.

Everlywell empowers you with the tests and resources you need to remain on top of your health and wellness. As a leading digital health company, we provide access to virtual care and RPM systems to assist you throughout every step of your wellness odyssey.

From insightful affordable lab tests to comprehensive information on living a healthier life, explore our virtual health offering today.

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  1. Remote Patient Monitoring: What it is and why it's important. Maryville Online. URL. Published December 7, 2021. Accessed February 12, 2023.
  2. Remote Patient Monitoring Trends & Health Devices in 2023. Insider Intelligence. URL. Published January 19, 2023. Accessed February 12, 2023.
  3. Delay or avoidance of medical care because of COVID-19–related concerns - United States, June 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. URL. Published September 10, 2020. Accessed February 12, 2023.
  4. How long are patients waiting for an appointment? Medical Group Management Association. URL. Accessed February 12, 2023.
  5. Telehealth and remote patient monitoring. URL. Accessed February 12, 2023.
  6. Oelrich T. The coronavirus pandemic has boosted telehealth; here's how existing spaces can support virtual visits. Forbes. URL. Published June 8, 2020. Accessed February 12, 2023.
  7. Medina M;Babiuch C;Card M;Gavrilescu R;Zafirau W;Boose E;Giuliano K;Kim A;Jones R;Boissy A; Home monitoring for covid-19. Cleveland Clinic journal of medicine. URL. Accessed February 12, 2023.
  8. Stenquist A. Remote Patient Monitoring and its impact in the healthcare field. Remote Patient Monitoring and Its Impact in the Healthcare Field | Rasmussen University. URL. Published July 6, 2020. Accessed February 12, 2023.
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