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Remote health monitoring commonly called remote patient monitoring is a form of technology that facilitates patient monitoring outside the clinical setting, for instance at home. It utilizes devices to collect, store, as well as communicate biometric health info to the practitioners of health. It aims at increasing care access as well as decreasing the delivery costs of healthcare. It also enables the provider of health care accurately to monitor as well as intervene in the care of the patient before he presents at the hospital or doctor’s office. It is a form of telemedicine application (Mittal & Steinberg, 2012). This technology has numerous benefits including increasing the compliance of the patient as well as enhance the likelihood of the patient to comply with the orders by the doctor. Apart from that, the patient would be more inclined to have his/her medication, and owing to this be away from the hospital. Among the remote health monitoring technologies include healthAIR and HealthPAL, dedicated cellular devices that can be utilized in each area where the patient is located (Smith, Armfield, Eikelboom, IOS Press, & Global telehealth, 2012).

The technology does communicate with other medical devices, for instance, blood pressure monitor, pulse oximeter, scales, and glucose meters and this is mainly through wired USB connection or Bluetooth technology. The devices also ensure the collection of the data mostly from the monitors and at the same time automatically upload the info to the HER of the patient in the cloud through cellular technology from one machine to the next. The practitioner of health can have the viewing of the data through the online means mainly through his/her chosen app as well as expert reports in various formats of the file (Miller, Matthews, Donovan, & Healthcare Intelligence Network, 2014). The technology is a store as well as forward, but it also can send info in near real time. The monitoring parameter is defined by the care provider of the patient based on the treatment plan of the disease. In most circumstances, the doctor carries out a review of the data for chronic disease trend for instance hypertension and diabetes, therefore, transmission of the real-time is not crucial, but instead, it is the consistency and the accuracy of the data (Western Australia, 2013).

Remote heath monitoring is evolving over time, and many parts of the globe are adopting as well as utilizing them for medical conditions that are complicated. The applicability of the technology is widespread, for instance, the device not only collects data from the patient, but it also sends it back for monitoring at a central repository. For example, there could be the installation of fetal monitors to control sudden infant death syndrome. With remote health technology, the health status of the child can be monitored, and the parent can receive the info via the technology (Mittal & Steinberg, 2012). At the same time, there could be the integration of this technology into implantable devices such as pacemakers, defibrillators, and insulin pumps, alerting the caregiver as well as the patient when some changes occur in the condition. As the baby boomers grow in age, PERS (personal emergency response system) would benefit the elderly. PERS is a type of remote health monitoring device with the capacity to enable the location of GPS as well as two-way conversations (Project for Rural Health Communications and Information Technologies, 2016). Although the remote health technology is new and many consumers lack the info about it, most of them are willing to purchase and use it. Reform in the healthcare will help in improving this system since they are bending the curve of cost and at the same time giving the mandate to the practitioners to use less and accomplish more (Western Australia, 2013).

The capability of the RPM (Remote Patient Monitoring), telehealth, and telemedicine is defined as the utilization of electronic information and communication technologies to ensure the interaction between patients and the providers in various locations for instance consultation for wound by a physician using monitoring blood pressure, audiovisual equipment, among others (Ward, 2011).

Telehealth entails the utilization of telecommunication and electronic information technologies to offer access to an assessment of health, diagnosis, consultation, intervention, supervision, as well as education across various areas. This includes the use of facsimile machine, telephone, video conferencing, electronic mail system, as well as remote monitoring system. According to CAST (2013), this technology is utilized to collect as well as transmit data for monitoring as well as interpretation. Typical telehealth applications include clinical services, for instance, the use of teleradiology whereby the test results can be forwarded for diagnosis in another facility as well as home monitoring to ensure supplementation of home visits from nursing professionals (Western Australia, 2011). Apart from that, the technology also incorporates non-clinical services, for instance, continuing education for practitioners, presentations mainly be specialists to the practitioners (American Telemedicine Association, 2015).

Two primary methods of delivering telehealth do exist, and they are Asynchronous (store and forward) and Synchronous (real-time interaction). In Asynchronous, the clinical info for instance sound, image, and data are mainly captured locally. At the same time, it is temporarily stored to ensure the transfer and a later date as messages or encrypted e-mail utilizing store-and-forward modems for communication as well as software. This is to make sure that a web server is secured or EHR, either through the high-speed internet connection or phone lines including ADSL, DSL, fiber-optic, cellular modems, or cables (Latifi, 2008). The providers of consultation then carry out a review of the stored data, and they conduct the diagnosis, treatment, as well as recommendation planning. Synchronous (real-time interaction systems) are live as well as interactive sessions which utilize the technology of video conferencing. In some cases, a technician or a nurse operates specialized instruments for instance electronic stethoscope and video otoscope at the direction of consulting provider to conduct a physical examination remotely (Page & Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, 2012).

To ensure the capturing of the data, RPM (Remote patient monitoring) utilizes various devices of wireless and wired peripheral measurements such as scales, blood pressure cuffs, and pulse oximeter. In most cases, these devices are employed after the discharge from the hospital or between regular hospital visits (Cruz-Cunha, Tavares, & Simoes, 2010). Some technologies also ensure video interaction between the provider of the healthcare and the patient in real time. These systems can also prompt the users to ensure the entry of answers to the targeted questions. At the same time, it can utilize the info for the interpretation of the data, provision of the materials for education, and the instruction for instance scheduling for a visit to the office or be making a visit to the nearby emergency room (Miller, Matthews, Donovan, & Healthcare Intelligence Network, 2014; Cafazzo, 2007)). Apart from that, these systems can ensure the transmission of the user-end data, ensure the storage of the data in secure systems of records that can only be accessed by the clinicians, flag abnormal responses, and readings, and provide alerts to the clinicians regarding the abnormalities mainly via text messages or email (Eren & Webster, 2016; Banbury, Root & Nancarrow, 2014). As a way of responding to these alerts, clinicians have the capacity to log into the system, carry out the review of the data, conduct a follow-up with the patient, and at the same time take appropriate action. Some of the systems can ensure that the patient is connected to the additional resources, for instance, EMR, PHR, interactive self-care tools, targeted education materials, technologies of medication optimization, as well as healthcare providers (MATRC, 2016). Although RPM applications are in some cases utilized at home, there has been the pilot testing of this technology in other settings, for instance, senior centers that are community-based (Australian & New Zealand Telehealth Committee, 2014).

For more than 40 years, numerous studies have yielded info about efficacy and cost effectiveness of various telemedicine applications, and one such application is the remote patient monitoring. Telemedicine is the utilization of medical info that has been exchanged from one site to the next through an electronic communication to improve the clinical health status of the patient (Villalba et al. 2013). RPM is a tool that can be utilized to reinforce specific education for the disease, but also in assisting in installing some concepts needed for self-management, for instance, the significance of regularly taking medicine as well as lifestyle choice’s implications for example diet, smoking, as well as exercise (Joshi & Carleton University, 2011; Australia., & Gillespie, 2008)). RPM is also essential in offering avenues for the clinicians to collect interpretive signs as well as other data to follow up the patient. This regular tracking of vital as well as daily monitoring of the disease condition offer the clinicians with a chance to execute early intervention. An example is medication titration that has the aim of improving the management of chronic illness by avoiding the condition from getting worse, exacerbation attendance, and preventing the progression of illness, therefore, bringing a reduction in unnecessary visits to the emergency department, hospitalization, as well as associated costs (Haas, Viney, Shanahan, & Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation, 2010). RPM is also an essential tool for stabilization, following as well as managing a person suffering from chronic disease. According to CAST (2013), RPM can be utilized following a discharge from the hospital to ensure the release of the plan instructions with the day to day monitoring, as well as offer clinicians and individuals with chances to take strides to ensure the prevention of the second exacerbation and avoid hospital readmission (Deborah, Heather, & Qiunn, 2014). To assist in post-acute stabilization of the patient, RPM is utilized for day to day monitoring of the condition to ensure the detection of the exacerbation. In theory, RPM can assist in keeping the eye as well as the ear of the patient on day to day to ensure the tracking of the condition, and this is mainly via biometric data, environmental sensor, as well as specific check in data (MATRC, 2016).

RPM assists in making the recognition of the key indicators that acts as the readmission risk for the individual and these include non-adherence of the medication. It also offers the communication means with as well as between various caregivers such as hospitalists, primary care physicians, and home as well as community-based care provider. Apart from that, there can be the utilization of RPM by the care providers to coordinate care and provide treatment reminders with other care providers who may provide the individual with the supportive services (Eren & Webster, 2016; Australia & Access Economics, 2010). Apart from the improvement in access, RPM ensures a reduction in the cost for healthcare professionals and patients, for instance, home health nurse mileage due to the capacity to provide target visits as required. This is more so essential for patient bound at home, rural areas, or those who experience transportation problems (Broderick, 2013; Page, & Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, 2012).

Benefits of RPM

Improved outcomes of health, reduced readmission, and hospitalization, better life quality, as well as lower cost for the caregiver as well as a player, are among the benefits of RPM. According to studies and meta-analysis on RPM, such benefits are greater when it comes to chronic diseases including diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases (McLean & Cresswell, 2013). This involves regular monitoring, as well as coordination among care providers and sustained self-care, and RPM technology is essential in addressing them. The prevalence of chronic diseases in Australia is high as well as costly, and this is more so among the elderly (American Telemedicine Association, 2015).

Improved Management/health outcomes

Efficient management of weight, cholesterol and blood pressure is essential for an individual suffering from heart diseases and hypertension. RPM is critical in providing assistance to the patient in monitoring as well as tracking the signs of these conditions. According to studies, patients receiving care through RPM have a greater improvement in blood pressure, glucose control, as well as cholesterol. Research review on the blood pressure monitoring effectiveness among patients suffering from hypertension indicates that most of the patients had an improved diastole and systole blood pressure (Ernst & Young & Canada Health Infoway Inc, 2014).

Reduced readmission to hospitals

Recent studies reveal that RPM can lessen the readmission to the hospitals especially for patients suffering from heart conditions. According to a recent survey, RPM can prevent about 627,000 cases of heart failure hospital readmission per annum. RPM should be the technology of choice for most homes for the elderly. RPM can positively influence the quality of life of the patient since it can improve care access as well as the medical conditions of the patient. Apart from that, RPM is essential in improving the engagement with the physicians, increasing the satisfaction of the family as well as the patient with the care. However, such a benefit can only occur if the healthcare provider and the physician are involved (American Telemedicine Association, 2015).


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