While telehealth and digital health have seen considerable growth in recent years, the pandemic has spurred adoption even further as healthcare companies seek to shift more treatment away from hospitals and doctor’s offices and into the patient’s home. This growth is projected to continue as the industry embraces virtual care as a mainstream and essential component of healthcare.
Are Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring the Same Thing?
Telehealth and remote patient monitoring are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same.
Simply defined, telehealth refers to the entire industry of digital health as a whole. In contrast, remote patient monitoring is a specific method to enhance contact between physicians and patients at home.
RPM is, therefore, a telehealth delivery mechanism. And the term telehealth, in turn, may refer to remote patient monitoring — although it can also apply to various things.
Meanwhile, healthcare providers have experimented with various tools, platforms, and methodologies to develop their RPM applications. In doing so, they have encountered common misconceptions that may be hampering their expansion efforts.
Here are some of the most common misconceptions health providers face when it comes to implementing RPM:
1. RPM is Too Expensive
RPM programs don’t always have to be prohibitively expensive. Creating a platform with one or two devices and a few quantifiable data points can provide care professionals critical information they did not have previously with yearly, monthly, or even weekly office visits.
This data will enable them to see trends at home, understand when and why patients are doing behaviors that are harmful to their health, and change a treatment plan accordingly to reverse those trends, improve outcomes, and decrease costs.
2. It’s Subpar to Physical Exams
A physical exam is necessary for doctors to get information about a patient’s health. However, some situations don’t require one. Remote patient monitoring can offer important information on blood pressure and sugar levels, heart rate, weight, and physical activity, among other things.
Because the measurements are conveyed in real-time, care providers make decisions and take action much more quickly—no more lengthy waits at clinics or coping with doctor shortages. Patients can receive reminders about medicine, food, sleep, stress reduction, and other topics via remote patient monitoring.
3. It Requires a Broadband Connection to Work
Another common misconception among healthcare practitioners is that remote patient monitoring requires a broadband connection between the clinician and the patient to work.
However, RPM equipment can communicate over Wi-Fi (with security systems to prevent criminals from eavesdropping). Providers can also deploy technology that sends patient data from Bluetooth devices, allowing healthcare readings to flow seamlessly onto a tablet or smartphone.
Proper planning is the key to assuring connection. Healthcare companies should survey the communities and people they plan to serve through RPM and then choose the best connection technology that fits the area.
4. It’s Too Difficult to Implement
It’s essential to keep in mind that RPM is a long way from totally replacing clinic visits, and we know that most physicians are already stressed due to their existing workload, personnel limitations, and recent income loss.
So, how can healthcare providers think about implementing RPM?
The fact is that most people cannot do it alone. However, a well-established, skilled, and reasonably priced RPM company may develop and maintain the program on the physician’s behalf.
With the proper partner, the program improves outcomes and patient satisfaction, a more practical approach to handle the rising number of chronically ill patients, and establishes a new (strong) recurring income stream.
The misconceptions above are grounded on legitimate concerns, yet solutions and applications have been developed to solve RPM issues. The increased usage of RPM offers more accurate data, improves patient experiences with clinics, and lowers costs for all parties involved.
If you’re looking to get your healthcare service started with cost-effective and patient-centered RPM technology, look no further than Medistics Health! Our company seeks to simplify the patient experience by providing RPM devices that are intuitive and provide real-time health data to physicians. Schedule a free consultation and access the best remote patient monitoring tools in the market today!