Visiting a doctor’s office can be inconvenient for many. The patient has to take time off from work and then wait to be called into the office. This may make the patient feel as though they are wasting precious time where they could be productive doing something else. All of this can be stressful for both patients and doctors. Fortunately, technology has advanced so much over the last several years that there are now alternatives to traditional in-person healthcare visits, such as telehealth.
Telehealth is usually a virtual face-to-face meeting to support long distance clinical health care. Patients and health care providers log on to an online meeting space such as Zoom to kick-off the discussion. Patients can visit with a doctor via video call instead of making an appointment at their local medical facility, which might not be nearby or may not have any appointments for the day. Telehealth also helps patients who are out of town or too sick to travel.Telehealth was primarily used to provide care to patients who can’t get to a doctor’s office, like those who live in rural areas or have mobility issues. However, there was a surge of telehealth visits during the COVID pandemic as a way to mitigate the spread of germs in enclosed spaces, especially for those who require regular visits. Although this is a great way for those who are immunocompromised to keep up their regular check-ins, it’s important that the integrity of the visit is sustained.
For those who depend on regular visits for their healthcare they may worry that a telehealth visit is a subpar experience compared to an actual office visit. Luckily, Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) allows patients who have chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease to monitor their own health by using devices at home that transmits data about their symptoms and vitals back to a central location where it’s monitored by healthcare professionals. This can help healthcare providers monitor conditions which require follow-up care on a regular basis. The goal of RPM is to ensure that patients receive timely care even when they aren’t able to physically visit their provider due to distance or mobility issues. And, it allows the regular tests that would have been performed in an office setting to be administered outside of an office setting.
Patients who use RPM share data directly with their health care providers to monitor their condition over a significant period of time. RPM lets patients gather data at home, then share it with their care team so they don’t have to go to the hospital or clinic frequently for checkups. Once the healthcare team receives this data they have all the information they need to conduct a thorough telehealth visit.
RPM enhances telehealth visits. RPM works because of modern technology and remote patient monitoring devices that are accurate and convenient for patients. At RPM Healthcare, 75% of hypertension patients see a drop in blood pressure while using remote patient monitoring devices and without provider intervention. Remote patient monitoring devices are easy to use and accurate, which makes them convenient for both patients and doctors. This means that you can take your own blood pressure or track your heart rate from the comfort of home, without needing assistance from a doctor or nurse.
Remote patient monitoring technology can help patients stabilize their condition and help hospitals lower readmissions, which is a big problem for many hospitals. This means that patients who are being treated at home can avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency room, saving time and money for both them and their healthcare providers.
Including RPM with telehealth helps people get better care and provides patients with a similar experience as an in-office visit. Remote patient monitoring gives patients the tools they need to take care of their conditions at home, while telehealth allows doctors to provide more convenient care for patients who can’t get to a doctor’s office. Overall, these types of technologies will continue improving access to healthcare, improve our understanding of disease management and help keep patients’ conditions stable until they can visit a doctor’s office again. Alone each approach provides good healthcare but combined, it provides a holistic visit.