Remote Patient Monitoring – Technologies Supporting Applied Practice and Optimal Patient Outcomes

Healthcare Information Technology Trends

The healthcare sector has, over the past two decade, witnessed a gradual surge in the integration and implementation of technological innovations in practice. Today, developments of this kind are commonplace within standard nurse practice environments. They are embraced with the main aim of improving conditions for healthcare providers; often anticipated to promote the provision of high-quality care and the attainment of patients’ goals (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). Among the most common trends apparent today is a drive towards informatics and emphasizing on the conceivable benefits of evaluating patient data to improve overall care outcomes. 

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Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have observed an increase in the adoption of telehealth-type trends and their subsequent use within my healthcare organization. For instance, Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is common aspect of care provision and is now generally regarded as a valuable tool in collecting healthcare data. RPM is currently recommended for chronic disease management and feted for its ability to promote self-management healthcare skills (Bhatia et al., 2021). Yet, one must also consider potential challenges, risks, and benefits posed by RPM integration and other future prospects relating to the overall improvement of patient care outcomes, efficiencies, and data management.

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)

Potential Challenges                       

            At the present moment, a major challenge preventing the widespread adoption of Remote Patient Monitoring technology revolves around cost implications of software and hardware infrastructure. Operationalization of RPM technology typically requires the creation of a robust digital framework to host a database, middleware, and interface (Singh & Mittal, 2016). The sensitive nature of patient data often requires high-end security algorithms to monitor large volumes of data in real-time and, eventually, relaying this data to respective healthcare providers. Furthermore, a team of skilled professionals is also required to set up RPM systems and, more often than not, exceeds the budget and financial capability of most healthcare facilities.

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Potential Risks

            Confidentilaity remains a major concern in the implementation of Remote Patient Monitoring platforms since they are primarily based on the electronic exchange of private health data between clients and healthcare providers. For instance cameras and sensors, strategically positioned in a patient’s home, may inadvertently transmit sensitive information related to personal activities posing a real privacy concern. Additionally, a possible risk of healthcare providers sharing patient data with third-partly advertisers also exists and may hinder efforts to keep such information private. The possible benefits of RPM could, therefore, be undermined in case privacy and confidentiality issues are not addressed promptly.

Potential Benefits

            Remote Patient Monitoring is a highly beneficial technological trend in healthcare today. Its presence within a healthcare facility reduces the possibility of adverse health events and increases the likelihood of a positive outcome in the long haul. Patients with chronic diseases, such type 2 diabetes, benefit greatly from the daily transmission of data from insulin pumps to their care providers (Salehi et al., 2020).  This type of information is routinely assessed to determine whether patients are meeting set records and adhering to physician’s recommendations. Inferences made from evaluations of this kind then guide healthcare provider’s decision on whether further intervention is warranted.

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Future Prospects

            RPM is a revolutionary trend capable of piloting improvements in patient care outcomes and efficacies.  Monitoring of patients while conducting routine follow-ups will improve patient care outcomes by improving care-seeking behave and attitudes towards healthcare providers (Rao-Gupta et al., 2018). Similarly, Remote Patient Monitoring also provides a unique platform for relaying health promotion and disease prevention information to improve compliance in the long haul.  Care provider’s efficiency will also profit from RPM since it promotes productivity through remote scheduling, resulting in an overall reduction in the overall risk of burnout (Firanek 2017). Apart from reducing the cost of care, RPM also improves the direct role of healthcare provider’s in client’s lives by providing a level of assurance and comfort.

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