A September 2022 survey by the American Medical Association (AMA) found 40% of surveyed physicians plan to adopt remote patient monitoring in the next year.
AMA issued surveys to 1,300 physicians to gauge their thoughts on technologies including remote patient monitoring, telehealth, clinical decision support, and other modalities for digital clinical care.
This survey was part of an effort to understand burgeoning trends related to digital health adoption among primary care providers, specialists, solo practitioners, physicians in group practices, and other physicians.
“Digital health encompasses a broad scope of tools that engage patients for clinical purposes; collect, organize, interpret and use clinical data; and manage outcomes and other measures of care quality,” wrote authors in the report. “This includes, but is not limited to, digital solutions involving telemedicine and telehealth, mobile health (mHealth), wearables (e.g., Fitbit), remote monitoring, apps, and others.”
Overall, researchers found there has been an increase in the number of physicians that see an advantage to digital tools since 2019, especially among physicians 51 years old and older.
Researchers observed the largest spike in adoption for remote patient monitoring technology and telehealth technology.
“Use of tele-visits/virtual visits has nearly tripled since 2019 and remote monitoring for efficiency has nearly doubled,” wrote researchers.
This increase was largely spiked by mandatory lockdowns initiated shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“Providing remote care to patients has increased significantly as a motivator of adoption of digital tools,” wrote researchers.
In addition to providing remote care to patients, efforts to reduce stress and physician burnout have also driven greater adoption of digital tools.
“Both PCPs and Specialists feel digital health solutions provide advantages in their ability to care for patients,” stated authors in the report.
Universally, survey respondents across age groups stated they increasingly see an advantage to leveraging digital tools in their practice to improve clinical outcomes and work efficiency.
Furthermore, 60% of physicians say they see the potential for digital health tools to help address key needs with chronic disease patients, preventative care, and administrative burden.
These survey results signal that many physicians are ready to embrace digital health modalities, including remote patient monitoring devices, to improve care delivery and increase patient engagement across various patient populations.
Specifically, physicians see potential for the tools to assist in care management for those with chronic conditions.
Remote patient monitoring has experienced a surge in popularity thanks to a small number of providers, according to a study from Health Affairs.
“Most of this growth was driven by a small number of primary care providers,” wrote Tang et al. “Among the patients of these providers with a high volume of remote patient monitoring, we did not observe substantial targeting of remote patient monitoring to people with greater disease burden or worse disease control.”
This small cohort of primary care providers are leveraging remote patient monitoring technology to improve patient health outcomes for those suffering from chronic conditions.
Their interest in the technology is making a significant impact: billing for remote patient monitoring increased over fourfold in the first year of the pandemic.
Furthermore, the study found 51 percent of patients who used remote patient monitoring technology in 2020 were still leveraging the care management method six months later.
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