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Remote patient monitoring, that has become reimbursable by Medicare in 2019, has gained a spotlight for the impressive financial benefits it brings to the clinics that implement it. But recent studies show just how powerful RPM can be, improving patients’ health outcomes, awareness and medication compliance, to name a few.
Remote patient monitoring shows early promise of improved patient health outcomes
Several recent studies evaluated the impact of using connected devices, such as smart blood pressure monitors, glucose meters or pulse oximeters that can be paired with a smartphone and conveniently hold and analyze patients’ daily vitals. And although connected health devices are still a rather new trend, these research studies showed an early promise of improving health outcomes for participating patients with common conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes or pulmonary disease.
The most successful RPM programs, in terms of health impact results, were those that incorporated health coaching, care pathways, and behavioural driven engagements.
“We at Lara Health have a tremendous experience when it comes to engaging patients. I have personally spent several years developing and testing digital programs and we have seen a dramatic difference in participants who opted in and those who didn’t,” commented Martina Janeckova, the CEO of Lara Health.
Remote patient monitoring builds healthy long term habits
Remote patient monitoring allows a more frequent contact between a patient and their care team, creating an environment where, instead of the typical episodic office visits, often short and inadequate, the patient and the care team build an ongoing, continuous care plan and communication. This has proven to be highly beneficial to patients, especially those who were less compliant with recommended tracking of vitals and medication regime before, as these frequent encounters result in positive behavioural changes and habits.
“With RPM, the patient is nudged to measure more frequently. Measuring frequently builds an awareness of the patient’s current health status and naturally increases medication adherence. We have seen terrific improvements in patient’s health but also in their attitude towards their health.” said Martina Janeckova, the CEO of Lara Health.
Remote patient monitoring nudges healthier lifestyle choices
The one, often overlooked benefit of RPM is the closed feedback loop that it creates for the patient. Patients are often told to measure their blood pressure or weight at home, watch for changes in their readings, and record symptoms and progress. But the reality is that many patients ignore the importance of staying on top of their health and do not measure their health frequently enough.
With remote patient monitoring, especially with programs where a care team is actively involved, the patient is not only reminded to measure, but to also closely follow their health changes. This often creates a powerful feedback for those who previously didn’t track their health condition as intensely as now. Had a bit too much sugar? With more frequent blood sugar tests, the patient is reminded, frequently and with real numbers on the glucose meter, that it was the case. How about the weight? Yes, now tracking the weight periodically shows quickly if that diet is working or not.
Remote patient monitoring creates self-awareness and better understanding of one’s health
Care providers shouldn’t underestimate the lack of awareness and the level of education patients have in terms of understanding their health conditions, its risks and triggers. Patients’ visits are often too brief to provide the patient with a detailed explanation of their health condition and how their lifestyle choices affect it.
Remote patient monitoring programs, already based on the virtual care model, can easily expand the patient’s awareness and understanding of their health condition and naturally guide the patient towards better choices.
Lara Health is building the next generation RPM platform that benefits both the patients and their care teams. Our expertise in patients’ engagement pathways allows us to deliver more powerful programs and, in return, improve the financial benefits of the medical practices.
Source: Npj Digital Medicine, Article number: 20172 (2018); Science Direct