Remote patient monitoring or remote healthcare monitoring is part of the latest round of technological developments in the healthcare industry. To take full advantage of this technology as a patient or practitioner, you need to understand its capabilities.
What Does It Monitor?
Although it has been recently upgraded to provide more data, remote monitoring has been around for a while. It has been monitoring pacemakers, internal defibrillation devices and c-pap machines for years.
With the latest technology, it can monitor much more. A doctor can receive blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen, sleep-wake cycle patterns and other vitals through a remote healthcare monitoring tool.
They can also receive data from insulin pumps, blood sugar monitors, pain pumps and other injection devices. They can signal patients to take their insulin or heart medication when they receive abnormal levels.
Benefits of Remote Monitoring
One of the best benefits of remote monitoring is the decrease in hospitalizations for monitoring and observation. The physicians, nurses or staff members can monitor a patient’s health while the patient remains at home. This can improve patient comfort and allow for faster response times if a problem should arise.
Some hospitals and doctor’s offices now use remote monitoring to prevent re-hospitalization after an initial problem occurs. They can monitor the patient to see if a treatment is working. In the event of multiple chronic illnesses, they can employ periodic or continuous monitoring so that emergency personal are notified immediately in the event of a catastrophic issue.
Remote monitoring does not only help doctors monitor patients. It helps patients monitor themselves. They can receive warnings about heart rate and blood pressure as well as reminders to take insulin or other medications via text, phone or computer.
Drawbacks of Remote Monitoring
As with any technology, remote monitoring is not without some drawbacks. The most prominent drawback is the possibility of data theft and privacy issues. As with any technology, if a monitoring company is not extremely careful with security, the data transmitted to patients or doctors can be breached.
There is a slight chance that the monitoring device will malfunction, but this is no higher with this technology than any other device. Another minor drawback is that new technology is sometimes confusing and hard to manage for people who are not tech-minded.
In the case of remote monitoring, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks when you consider that it could save a life. It helps people remain independent despite having conditions that previously required multiple hospitalizations.