RPM (Remote Patient Monitoring) has become one of the fastest-growing developments in modern healthcare, catalyzed by the pandemic and now introduced across a wide range of healthcare services and settings. So what trends are we seeing in this industry?
As more providers and clinicians recognize the benefits of RPM, and healthcare policymakers see compelling improvements in rehospitalization statistics, emergency interventions, and preventable fatalities, RPM has only continued to grow, utilizing technology to enhance patient outcomes and augment physician time optimization.
In this article, the Wanda Health team summarizes some of the most significant trends we have seen over the last few months, which look set to contribute to further advancements in RPM service delivery into the year ahead.
5 Remote Patient Trends for 2024 and beyond
1. A Continual Growth in Demand
Analysts anticipate that within the next two years, over a quarter of the entire US patient population will have used some aspect of RPM services, expected to provide care, education, and ongoing monitoring for around 70.6 million people.
Much of this rapid growth is due to the dual advantages of RPM, offering patients more convenient, accessible, and personalized care without stretching limited clinical resources or putting additional pressure on primary care service providers.
Home health monitoring has already proven to have some notable impacts, with some providers recording patient satisfaction metrics of over 90% with readmissions to hospitals falling by 76%, all testament to the value of ongoing monitoring and patient interactions.
2. Improved Healthcare Revenues
As we’ve indicated, one of the effects of RPM is that it means one practitioner or physician can use their time strategically, devolving routine data monitoring as necessary and intervening when RPM measurements indicate a cause for concern or a deviation from the norm.
RPM is currently used to monitor and manage a range of chronic and acute conditions. Recent statistics show that 38% of providers with an implemented RPM program have experienced lower readmissions and fewer complications, and 17% have seen immediate reductions in overheads and patient treatment costs.
Read more about RPM statistics here.
3. Smaller and More Efficient RPM Devices
The FDA-approved devices assigned to RPM patients are evolving as quickly as the technology behind them, with a growing interest in medical-standard devices that are intuitive, user-friendly, and appropriate for any patient, irrespective of their age, mobility, understanding of technology, or dexterity.
Alongside more compact, discreet devices, innovations such as one-touch functionality, backlit high-visibility screens, and automated data transmissions without complicated set-up or pairing processes have improved how patients perceive and engage with RPM.
It is also likely that, with a series of RTM therapeutic CPT codes launched last year, the role of wearables will become more important. Although these devices are less reliable and precise than an RPM device, they can assist with providing a better holistic picture of patient health and holding patients accountable for engaging with the care planning and lifestyle changes they have been prescribed.
4. RPM and Advanced Artificial Intelligence
AI and machine learning are all around us, and the healthcare sector is no different. Experts predict that the hybrid healthcare and AI industry will exceed a market value of $20 million in the very near future, where the increased usage of telemedicine, virtual care, and RPM relies on the technological infrastructure behind it.
Using AI to, for example, automatically highlight unusual readings can expedite the responsiveness of medical professionals or assist with quicker diagnosis when there are multiple variables and indicators at play.
5. Expansions of RPM Applications
When RPM was newly introduced, it was largely seen as a mechanism to provide monitoring for healthcare patients in remote locations or for whom attending in-person appointments was challenging. Today, it is being used in a much wider array of scenarios, such as:
Monitoring the welfare of patients with mental health conditions, tracking heart rates, sleep, and physical activity levels.
Supporting pediatric care providers, using RPM for younger patients with genetic conditions, diabetes, and asthma.
Residential nursing care - providing community and care home providers with better ways to connect residents and their practitioners or track a resident's condition without making unnecessary interventions.
We expect these use cases will continue to expand, where today, virtual care is used by therapists, clinicians, and consultants from across the healthcare industry.
6. Focus on Patient Confidentiality
Professional RPM service providers undoubtedly recognize the importance of data protection and often use systems that deliver automated reading transmissions without expecting the patient to log or send measurements manually.
Although the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was softened during the pandemic to allow practitioners a wider leeway when delivering care, rules have now been reinstated. New providers and those implementing RPM programs must be conscious of their patient data confidentiality processes.
As RPM becomes more widely used and integrated with a greater range of electronic patient record-keeping programs and systems, healthcare providers will need to ensure they have introduced sufficient protections to keep sensitive patient information safe.
7. Dynamic Patient Education
Patient engagement figures resulting from RPM programs have been positive, demonstrating why playing an active participatory role in taking measurements and being able to see data tracked over time through our virtual care platform makes patients more responsive to care planning.
Providers have also begun to look at alternative ways to educate patients about their health, conditions, and RPM monitoring, especially for patient demographics with low health literacy who are more vulnerable to errors with medication, managing their condition, or being unsure whether a symptom poses an immediate emergency.
8. Further RPM Market Segmentation
Finally, over the coming months, we expect to see an increased trend for market segmentation, where healthcare providers and RPM specialists work on areas where specific patient groups and demographics can benefit from more targeted support.
Healthcare providers are also more aware of how patient satisfaction and trust in their practitioner are pivotal factors in achieving improved outcomes and revenues. They are more likely to provide tailored care planning rather than relying on conventional medical protocols.
Instead of using one treatment plan for any patient presenting with a similar condition, clinicians are considering ways to diversify and improve patient engagement while using the cost-efficiencies and scalability of RPM to improve or expand their offerings.
For more information about remote patient monitoring solutions to introduce a virtual care management platform within your healthcare service, or compare turnkey solutions for expedited implementation, please get in touch with the Wanda Health team at any time.