What is Remote Patient Monitoring?

Remote patient monitoring, or RPM, is technology helping bridge the patient-provider information gap.

January 10, 2022
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In a perfect world, every patient would have an on-call physician ready to assist. These perfect-world practitioners would not only tend to health concerns as they occur but also observe the patient behind the scenes to avoid any hidden or lurking complications. 

Here in the real world, however, it’s simply not possible for doctors and patients to be so closely connected—but that doesn’t mean updates on the patient’s health can’t be shared in real-time. Remote patient monitoring, or RPM, is an emerging form of technology helping to bridge the patient-provider information gap and lead to better outcomes.

What is remote patient monitoring? 

The Center for Connected Health Policy, a program of the Public Health Institute, defines remote patient monitoring as “personal health and medical data collection from an individual in one location which is transmitted via electronic communication technologies to a provider in a different location for use in care.”

Remote patient monitoring uses wearable technology or mobile applications to seamlessly deliver data from the patient to the provider. Some of the data most frequently collected through remote patient monitoring includes vital signs, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar. RPM devices include Internet-enabled smart scales, blood pressure cuffs, pulse oximeters, glucometers, and more. 

What are the benefits of remote patient monitoring?

The most obvious benefit to remote patient monitoring is that it grants providers instant access to patient data without the patient having to visit the office or schedule a telemedicine appointment. 

Data gleaned through remote patient monitoring supplies the provider with the insights they need to deliver personalized care based on their patient’s specific needs. This can include real-time changes to medication, diet, behaviors, and future follow-up appointments critical for maintaining optimal health.

Not only does remote patient monitoring save time for the patient and provider, but it also means less hassle for the patient. In the era of Covid-19, this can also mean a reduced exposure for the patient to other patients who may be ill. Plus, RPM empowers the patient with more control over their personal health, encouraging behavioral adjustments and shifts over time.

What’s the difference between telemedicine and RPM?

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine became a popular buzzword in the healthcare space. As a result, telemedicine was sometimes used interchangeably to refer to other digital healthcare practices like remote patient monitoring.

In fact, telemedicine refers to the delivery of health services through technology, often videoconferencing or smartphones, like a doctor’s visit in-person. Telemedicine played a critical role in helping people access care during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s not the only piece of digital healthcare available to providers.

Remote patient monitoring is a form of telehealth, or healthcare that uses technology to improve patient outcomes. RPM isn’t a substitute for a regular doctor’s visit. Rather, it’s a way for providers to monitor their patients more closely between appointments to ensure that their vitals remain on track and that they are following their prescribed care plan. 

PainScript offers remote patient monitoring for chronic pain and SUD patients

Providers trust PainScript and our digital healthcare platform to collect and manage patient-submitted data from remote patient monitoring devices. Our platform is clinically proven to significantly improve care plan and medication adherence, leading to more favorable outcomes for patients and streamlined practices for providers. To learn more about how we can help you address the treatment gap and reduce staff burnout, request a demo today.

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