Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) in 2022
In 2022, RPM technology was used to track health conditions in patients . This allowed doctors to provide preventive care and manage different chronic conditions. Oftentimes, sensors tracked patient data such as weight, blood pressure, glucose levels, and more . Patients with chronic conditions were also given devices such as apnea monitors, heart rate monitors, and even motion detectors to track dementia in older patients . This allowed providers to gain insight into a patient’s lifestyle as well as receive real-time updates on their treatment. However, RPM still has a long way to go in providing reliable at-home monitoring and connecting patients to doctors when needed.
Advancements in Wearables & Drug Delivery
Currently, patients can sign up for apps or set reminders for themselves to take their medications. However, the future lies in wearables that provide targeted and personalized drug delivery to patients. These wearables will allow patients to be administered accurate doses without the need for nurses or doctors . This will be useful for those with chronic conditions who may need to take critical medications throughout the day. Furthermore, these devices can be customized for each patient and their preferred treatment plan. This will provide patients with peace of mind since they won’t have to worry about whether or not they forgot to take their medications. It will also reduce questions patients may have about how to take their medication. Although lots of research is still needed before we have fully customizable wearables that provide drug delivery, more research is being done in clinical trials to get us closer.
Robotic Care Integrated with Telehealth
Sometimes patients need caregivers to help them with daily activities as well as help with treatment plans. However, not all patients may have access to caregivers. For instance, patients living in more rural areas may have trouble receiving care, especially if they have disabilities. Therefore, although the idea of robotic caregivers seems far-fetched, we should still see some advances that provide robotic care services to patients. For instance, AI can be used to track trends in vitals and alert nurses when they should check in on patients to make sure they are doing well physically and emotionally. This can be done with already existing telehealth services which provide doctors a way to treat patients from their homes. Furthermore, patients may have questions about the medication they’re taking or the severity of their symptoms. Telehealth integrated with robotic care can connect patients with their doctors faster and easier than before.
Moreover, telehealth can be used in parallel with robotic care to track mental health, provide physical therapy, and wound care, and even treat heart conditions . Sensors implemented with preexisting telehealth services can monitor patients over time. This provides care management and preventive measures to patients. AI can also be used to track changes in a patient’s mood and provide patients with reminders when they forget to keep up with their treatment plans. Although we may not see full robotic caregivers this year, we should still see an increase in AI and robotic technology being integrated with telehealth to provide patients with RPM services.
Benefits & Trends of Remote Patient Monitoring
RPM is expected to be used by a little over a quarter of the U.S. population by 2025 . This is often due to the decreased hospitalization and increased patient satisfaction seen when RPM deceives are used . Furthermore, older patients are leaning into RPM technology due to its ease in managing different chronic conditions at once while also helping to reduce the costs associated with care . The future of RPM lies in it being smaller, less invasive, and easy to implement with current technology. Although RPM has a long way to go before it provides full at-home care services to patients, stakeholders see the potential that it has in providing affordable and reliable whole-person care.
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