A position paper in the journal Hypertension offers expert opinions on the benefits of telemedicine for helping patients manage their blood pressure and shows where limitations still need to be addressed. They highlight telemedicine, including remote patient monitoring (RPM), as a tool to diagnose hypertension and a way to provide better and more consistent care to older patients, high-risk populations, and medically underserved or remote groups. RPM to monitor physiological parameters and medication adherence is a critical piece of telemedicine, and the paper also notes the importance of the option for televisits and patient education.
Another point of note is that telemedicine can be useful as a preventative tool and can help patients manage their health to avoid a hypertension diagnosis. As reported by Reuters, Dr. Stefano Omboni says, “[M]anaging hypertension with telemedicine may have an important benefit for the primary prevention of heart disease. Guidelines should not disregard it, nor label telemedicine as an extreme option for limited cases. As physicians, we must leverage the diffusion of telemedicine services for hypertension management and support their embedding in standard delivery care models. We hope that the current COVID-19 crises may boost this process.”
Among the challenges that remain are the cost of devices, simplifying reimbursements, access to broadband internet and other technology for virtual visits, and privacy issues. These are important concerns with telehealth overall. RPM Healthcare is creating solutions to fill these gaps with the RPM365 platform so that more patients can benefit from remote patient monitoring.
Read more at medscape.com.