REMOTE PATIENT MONITORING (RPM)
Description of RPM
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a technology to enable monitoring of patients outside of conventional clinical settings, such as in the home or in a remote area, which may increase access to care and decrease healthcare delivery costs.
Incorporating RPM in chronic-disease management may significantly improve an individual’s quality of life, by allowing patients to maintain independence, prevent complications, and to minimize personal costs. RPM facilitates these goals by delivering care through telecommunications. This form of patient monitoring can be particularly important when patients are managing complex self-care processes such as home hemodialysis. Key features of RPM, like remote monitoring and trend analysis of physiological parameters, enable early detection of deterioration; thereby reducing emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and the duration of hospital stays.
The diverse applications of RPM lead to numerous variations of RPM technology architecture. However, most RPM technologies follow a general architecture that consists of four components.
Sensors on a device that is enabled by wireless communications to measure physiological parameters.
Local data storage at patients’ site that interfaces between sensors and other centralized data repository and/or healthcare providers.
Centralized repository to store data sent from sensors, local data storage, diagnostic applications, and/or healthcare providers.
Diagnostic application software that develops treatment recommendations and intervention alerts based on the analysis of collected data.
Depending on the disease and the parameters that are monitored, different combinations of sensors, storage, and applications may be deployed.
Physiological data such as blood pressure and subjective patient data are collected by sensors on peripheral devices. Examples of peripheral devices are: blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter, and glucometer. The data are transmitted to healthcare providers or third parties via wireless telecommunication devices. The data are evaluated for potential problems by a healthcare professional or via a clinical decision support algorithm, and patient, caregivers, and health providers are immediately alerted if a problem is detected. As a result, timely intervention ensures positive patient outcomes. The newer applications also provide education, test and medication reminder alerts, and a means of communication between the patient and the provider. The following section illustrates examples of RPM applications, but RPM is not limited to those disease states.
HERE’S HOW RPM WORKS FOR THE PATIENT
Doctor Interaction as Needed
Our LifeLinx staff will interview you to ensure you qualify for the program. Our nursing staff will do a pre-visit medical review, and enter you into the doctor’s clinical care database.
You’ll see one of our doctors, through a virtual visit by video phone or computer. The doctor will review your health, and, if appropriate, prescribe remote patient monitoring.
Upon the doctor’s direction, LifeLinx will send you a video tablet, and the appropriate wireless devices to measure blood pressure, or temperature, or other health parameters. We’ll train you on how to use it. (Hint: it’s easy!)
You’ll measure your health parameters as requested by the doctor. Our LifeLinx nursing staff will review your information daily. If anything is of concern, we’ll talk to you via video chat on the tablet, or we’ll inform the doctor.
The doctor will interact with you, long-term, to help you manage your chronic condition. You’ll be able to see the doctor whenever you want, for whatever you want, using the video tablet provided.