Chronic diseases are costly, but preventable health challenges facing our nation with particular impact on poor, rural Americans who lack access to healthcare. According to the CDC, more than 75% of the nation’s health care costs are due to chronic conditions, equal to more than $26 billion each year.¹,² Additionally, medical costs associated with chronic health conditions are expected to increase by nearly 70% between 2010 and 2020. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) can conveniently increase access, decrease cost of care, and improve outcomes for chronic disease patients by bringing healthcare resources into the home.

RemotePatientMonitoringWhat is RPM?

RPM is chronic disease management in the home via technology that enables patients to monitor their diseases and securely transfer daily health data to health care providers. Some of the most common chronic diseases benefitting from RPM are hypertension, diabetes, COPD and asthma. The technology used in the home is specialized for the particular disease being monitored and comes in a variety of wired or wireless peripheral measurement devices, including blood pressure cuffs, glucometers and pulse oximeters. Some technologies also allow live, 2-way, audio-visual interaction between the patients and healthcare provider. RPM programs can be used to collect a range of health data, including biometrics and medication compliance. Patients are also provided with targeted, evidence based educational information that allows patients to better manage their diseases.

Why use RPM?

Daily interaction between the patient and healthcare provider has shown to increase patient engagement and change behaviors. The integrated model of care has allowed health care providers to provide real-time feedback or intervention when a problem arises. Bringing a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare resources into the home extends the level of care given in the primary care setting. RPM can be used to decrease healthcare disparities, improve management for chronic diseases and reduce the overall cost of care by decreasing ER and hospital admissions and readmissions.

How it works?

Dr. Wilson’s CHF patients living in Iuka, Mississippi use an iPad mini and Bluetooth-enabled blood pressure cuff and scale at home. The peripherals send the data automatically via a secured internet connection to the RN Care Coordinator at UMMC in Jackson (250 miles away) to evaluate the blood pressure and weight remotely. The RN Care Coordinator reviews the data and contacts the patient to discuss responses in daily health session questions and review biometrics. If needed, the RN Care Coordinator will intervene or connect the patient with another member of their care team. Nobody has to take off work or arrange for transportation, but rather perform the brief but important test in the comfort of their own home.

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[1] Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  2009.  Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publicaions/aag/chronic.htm.
[2] Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  Chronic disease overview: Costs of chronic disease.  2012.  Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/overview.htm.
[3] Ibid.