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What Is Remote Patient Monitoring?

Natalie
Stein
June 5, 2020
What Is Remote Patient Monitoring?
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In remote patient monitoring (RPM), mobile devices are used to collect patient data outside of traditional healthcare facilities and to send the data to healthcare providers. The use of RPM can improve patient health and well-being while being cost-effective for physicians. Well-chosen RPM devices can have further benefits.

What Is Remote Patient Monitoring?

Remote patient monitoring is a form of telehealth, or healthcare delivered remotely. In it, patient-generated data are remotely collected, such as through wearable devices or online portals, stored, and analyzed by qualified healthcare professionals. Patients also receive feedback.

Remote patient monitoring is now reimbursable by Medicare under CPT code 99091. Claims must meet the following criteria [1].

  • Real-time data transmission.
  • Patient-generated data, such as physical activity or blood glucose levels.
  • Data must be digitally stored as health data.
  • Data must be analyzed and patients must receive feedback digitally, such as via text message or email.

Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring

Remote patient monitoring can potentially benefit doctors, patients, and the entire healthcare system. With reimbursement, RPM can be profitable for doctors, and improved patient health can further the effect.

Remote data collection can allow for more data to be collected as it can be more convenient for patients whose data are generated while they are at home or living their lives rather than needing to visit a clinic or hospital to gather data. With more data and faster transmission to providers, patients can get more feedback so they can adjust regimens if needed. They may also be sooner alerted to dangerous values such as out-of-range blood pressure.

The healthcare system can also benefit due to reduced burden as patients stay healthier. In addition, having data collected and analyzed without patients needing to set foot in hospitals can help prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed, which has been a major concern since the COVID-19 pandemic came to the forefront.

Devices with Remote Patient Monitoring Capabilities

There are many devices with RPM capabilities. Examples include:

  • Heart rate monitors.
  • Blood glucose monitors for patients with diabetes.
  • Blood pressure monitors for individuals with hypertension.
  • Wearable physical activity monitors.
  • Continuous surveillance monitors to detect falls or locate patients with dementia.
  • Fitness and weight logging apps.

Lark is a fully digital health coach for chronic disease management and prevention. Lark is set up for easy integration of RPM into physicians’ practices. Possible patient-generated data from Lark include blood glucose, blood pressure, weight, and physical activity levels. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), Lark is infinitely scalable to support healthcare providers in maximizing cost-effectiveness. 

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