The popularity and effectiveness of remote patient monitoring is growing when it comes to patients receiving in-depth care directly from their home. Staff and patients use state-of-the-art tools—through mobile apps and other software—to stay updated and on top of patients’ care without the patient ever entering a hospital or making a phone call. Not only is this a relief for seriously ill or homebound patients, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also for physicians who want to meet their patients’ needs in the most effective, comforting way possible.
Remote Patient Monitoring versus Telehealth
With telehealth on the rise since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, home monitoring for patients is becoming a reliable option for more and more patients, as well as the medical professionals treating them. One question both providers and patients may have before investing resources into this technology is what the difference is between telehealth and remote home monitoring?
Remote home monitoring is digital, adaptable technology that collects data from patients in a comfortable setting so it can be viewed by the professionals working with them. Direct communication is not necessary because of the data continuously collected from the patient and the real-time software the medical team uses on the other end.
While remote patient monitoring focuses on the ongoing observation of patients’ vitals through software and wearable technology, telehealth is a little more interactive. Patients talk to their physicians through phone or video chat and actively communicate through a portal where secure messages and documents are delivered.
Home Monitoring Benefits for Medical Professionals
Home monitoring for patients coincides well with telehealth in that medical professionals can receive data directly from their patients, exactly when they need to. With the ability to monitor essential vitals such as temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels, physicians can confidently discuss their real-time findings with their patients. This is especially helpful when medical professionals have a solid relationship with their patients and knowledge of their needs is practically second nature. Fully understanding what is normal and what isn’t for patients in the remote monitoring program is helpful and shows how starting out with a small number of remote patients is a good way to transition smoothly.
Home Monitoring Benefits for Patients
This unique type of healthcare tracking allows patients to feel relaxed within the walls of their homes knowing their specialists can view their vitals in real-time. Also, with COVID-19 still a fear for many, patients may feel safest receiving care without having to go out in public—especially if their diagnoses can be impacted by travel or other interactions. Another reason home monitoring for patients can be more of a stress-relief, if anything, is that the patients do not have report data to their physicians. A medical team can instantly see the data via the technology connecting the patient and the providers.
Between patients receiving worry-free care and the medical team collecting data instantly, remote patient monitoring is an expanding system that could change medical care in the present and near future for many.