Note: This is Part III in the series, Why It's a Great Time to Start Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)
Check out the rest of the Series:
* Part I: 3 Reasons Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is Great for your Patients
* Part II: 5 Ways Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is Great for your Business
* Part III: 5 Ways New Technologies are Making Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Easy
A unique combination of factors has made 2021 a fantastic time for providers, payers, and payviders to think about expanding or getting started with their Remote Patient Monitoring and other virtual care programs. These virtual care programs are considered a subset of the broader shift towards telehealth. This series will look at how we've arrived at this unique point in time and what has changed to make RPM a "must-have" offering in 2021 and beyond. COVID-19 has played a role in RPM and other telehealth adoptions for reasons we will explore in the series. However, the general trends that will make RPM a future healthcare staple go well beyond COVID-19 or any kind of future epidemic or pandemic-style event. These trends include patient outcomes and attitudes, reimbursement opportunities, new technologies, regulatory exceptions, and the lowering of financial and other risks to get started.
With that, we continue with Part III:
5 Ways New Technologies are (Finally) Making Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Easy
At 1bios we started building our RPM software platform in 2014. At the time, the best we could do for the broad population outside the four walls of the health system style RPM use case we built around, required patients to enter data into a web-portal or on their phone app from their "non-connected device.” Alternatively, they could perform a set of Bluetooth related "connections" that required the patient to download apps and jump through hoops (including having multiple accounts and remembering multiple passwords pairing devices to 1bios system, needing to use their phone apps to instigate measures from devices or sync measures, etc.) in order to utilize their Bluetooth connected devices. Care teams were similarly challenged to know precisely which patients needed human attention, at which urgency, based on which data, and whether the attention they needed could be provided by automation or required a person. If a person was required, and additional challenge was smoothly engaging the right care team member in terms of medical degrees and experience (i.e. is this an MA check-in call, or something that should go straight to a Physician or other Qualified Healthcare Professional (QHP)). Fortunately, we've seen massive advances in technologies in the last seven years that are breaking down these barriers and more.
- RPM/Virtual Care Automation Platforms: Now you can get unified RPM and CCM and other Virtual Care systems that are purpose-built to make it easy to deliver RPM, CCM, and more. A good platform will integrate with all the best RPM devices, have purpose-built tools to automatically track and alert you towards billing metrics, automatically track all time spent by each care team member on each patient and specifically track what was being done, make billing easy, integrate with other systems, provide bulk and 1:1 digital messaging, make it easy for you to engage patients, and more. For more on what you should look for in an RPM platform, download our Ebook "How to Choose the Right Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Solution."
- Automated Patient Engagement: Patient compliance is critical to the success of an RPM program. Now, it's possible to automate "reminder/nudges" and program incentives in a way that helps keep your patients and members on track. These tools can utilize machine learning algorithms to deliver the right messages at the right times to the right patients and the right information at the right time to the care team. In tandem, these automation tools make it much more financially feasible for a small number of human care teams to manage large numbers of remote patients on a high-touch/high-frequency basis. For more on patient compliance see our article “7 Ways to Increase Patient Compliance in your Remote Patient Monitoring Program.”
- Cellular Monitoring Devices: Cellular monitoring devices are much easier to utilize in an RPM program than any other type of device. A cellular device has its own cellular chip and data plan in it, like your phone does. This means we can hand a patient a cellular device or ship it to their doorstep, which is more common, and all they have to do is take the measurement. The measurement will automatically be sent from the device to 1bios and be applied to the patient account (and trigger alerts/etc.). The patient does not need a smartphone, and they don't need to plug anything in. They also don't need to pair a device, t or manage a hub. Finally, they don't need to sync with an app on their phone. They just need to use or wear the cellular device and it just automatically sends the new data to 1bios. This results in higher compliance. 1bios supports the largest number of cellular monitoring devices in the world from 3 different manufacturers. This ensures that you have the best pricing and availability options. We expecting to have a "cellular wearable" that you can use with RPM for availability in early 2022.
- EHR and Other System Integrations: It’s now easier than ever to share information between various systems so that the right people have access to the right information at the right time. With RPM, we can make sure that all care team members can consume the RPM information and get alerted in their preferred system of record. Or, that a billing system can consume our billing information. Or, that we can consume orders and enrollment data from another system. In short, Healthcare IT is starting to operate on a more open and standards-based system like other industries (accounting, marketing, travel, finance, etc.).
- Machine Learning (ML) / Artificial Intelligence (AI): As alluded to in section 2 — we are now able to utilize increasingly large datasets of RPM information that enable computers to make better automated decisions and predictions than humans. Think of Google's PageRank algorithm that predicts a web page's importance based on a massive number of constantly building data points. Our RPM algorithms will accomplish the same thing, which is predict the importance of a certain pattern of measurements and take appropriate action. These actions range from how to increase a patient's daily compliance to when a critical intervention is most important based on the pattern observed in the most recent patient readings.
New technologies are making RPM easy and valuable for everyone. Patients are getting better outcomes with increasingly little effort as devices become more "passive" and "always on." Providers have simple-to-use SaaS platforms (like 1bios) that will collect, analyze, and make the data actionable and billable, ensuring that a small number of care team members can dynamically care for a large population. The best RPM platforms make it easy to share information with provider EHR's, other billing systems, and more. ML / AI applications are increasing as the volume of RPM data grows to create further value for all parties.
If you're ready to discuss the best approach to start or improve RPM and other virtual care programs for your organization, book a virtual meeting with us today!