A Changing Landscape in Medicine: Remote Patient Monitoring
The concept of remote patient monitoring has always been a promising idea in theory. But it was not until the COVID-19 pandemic that RPM became one of the only methods available to allow interactions between physician and patient. Studies assessing the efficacy of remote patient monitoring reveal that it is often a better alternative when compared to in-office patient visits.
We suspect that remote patient monitoring and telehealth will only continue to expand and infiltrate all aspects of healthcare. RPM technology can now be accessed on a patient’s wrist – at all times. Consider that FitBits and Apple Watches now track heart rhythm with ECG, blood oxygen, and even sleep. The overabundance of data points available from RPM technology will change the future of medicine and will allow healthcare to transform from our current system of “sick care” to maintain a state of “welfare.” Twenty-four-hour monitoring will enable physicians with a clairvoyant ability to catch and address medical issues early. Further, as RPM continues to grow and become a mainstream element of patient care, the data collection will continue to grow as well. There may even come a time when using data from RPM becomes compulsory because of its superb ability to prevent avoidable, dangerous, and costly medical interventions.
The prevalent culture in healthcare is reactive medicine – a system that treats illnesses once they already exist. We need to move to a culture of proactive medicine – a system that will identify and treat potential and early illnesses before they become dangerous. Remote patient monitoring is an essential part of this future of medicine.