There was a time when people who were ill kept to their sick beds at home, but 20th century advances in medical technology made it necessary (and beneficial) for many people to stay in the hospital for constant monitoring. However, further leaps and bounds in tech are now making it possible for some patients to have the best of both worlds by returning to the comfort of their homes while still having their vitals checked, thanks to remote patient monitoring.
Using monitoring equipment, a healthcare provider can keep tabs on a patient’s clinical data. Glucose meters, ECGs and blood pressure monitors are among the most common types of RPM equipment used, but the array of available technologies is rapidly expanding.
Cheaper, portable machines and devices that can be used at home, combined with the power of digital technology and the ubiquity of smartphones, are making remote patient monitoring a reality. Right now, a patient can get a stand-alone blood pressure cuff to use at home, wirelessly connect it to an app on their phone to get a reading and then send the results to their doctor.
Sophisticated cloud-sharing platforms are also a key part of remote patient monitoring. Some of them enable a provider to offer an RPM program for patients because it provides support for integrating numerous devices and allows healthcare professionals to manage patient data. Dedicated patient portals can also empower patients to take more control by both accessing and uploading their health information and images (e.g., X-rays).
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