The benefits of remote patient monitoring (RPM) are myriad for patients, from enjoying the convenience of at-home care to gaining better access to specialty treatment. Demand for RPM isn’t just fueled by patients, however — it also affords advantages for healthcare providers and payers alike.
Let’s take a look at the current state and future of RPM, why it’s experiencing such rapid growth, and what advantages it can provide to both providers and payers.
The rapid growth of RPM
According to MarketsandMarkets Research, the global RPM market was estimated to be worth $53.6 billion in terms of revenue in 2022 and forecasted to reach $175.2 billion by 2027.
Some of the primary drivers of this growth are the monitoring benefits of RPM, its ability to reduce the burden on medical staff and resources, and its role in expanding healthcare access at a time of growing need. North America accounted for the biggest share of the market, which can be largely attributed to the rising incidence and prevalence of chronic conditions and the need to reduce healthcare expenditure at scale.
But what are providers saying about RPM? According to a VivaLNK survey of healthcare professionals, 90% indicated that continuous, 24-hour data is important, and more than three-quarters believe RPM adoption will be on par with or surpass in-patient monitoring in five years. In addition, 23% of respondents have already adopted RPM and another 23% plan to adopt it within one year.
Many providers are using RPM in a chronic care model; however, RPM’s use cases extend beyond chronic care and are applicable in principal and transitional care management as well as hospital-in-the-home care and beyond.
That said, there are some factors to consider to adopt RPM successfully.
How to adopt RPM
For RPM to be effective, organizations should seek solutions that address three challenges: security and privacy, integration, and ease of use.
In today’s rapidly evolving healthcare threat landscape and increasingly complex regulatory environment, security and privacy are paramount. As such, healthcare institutions need to ensure their RPM solution adheres to the highest security and privacy standards, including ISO 13485, ISO 27001, HITRUST, and HIPAA, among others.
Remote patient monitoring devices also need to integrate with existing healthcare systems and infrastructure, including electronic health record (EHR) software. According to the VivaLNK survey, 65% of respondents said EHR integration is essential to widespread adoption. Look for an RPM vendor who partners with leading healthcare organizations to ensure EHR interoperability, compatibility with other health systems, and the ability to seamlessly sync data across devices in a central access point.
RPM devices must be simple to set up and use right out of the box for both providers and patients — especially since the latter may be using these devices on their own at home. The best RPM solutions should enable providers to onboard any patient, regardless of their age, condition, and ability to use technology.
By addressing these factors, you can more effectively implement RPM and reap the following benefits.
RPM benefits for payers
With RPM, providers can:
- Focus on patients who most need their attention. Healthcare staffing shortages continue to plague the industry, and RPM alleviates some of the strain by freeing up physicians and surgeons to operate and conduct crucial procedures instead of answering questions, which can instead be handled by nurses.
- Serve and retain more patients. By enabling treatment at home, remote patient monitoring allows providers to care for more patients onsite while extending their ability to treat more patients from afar. Even those living in rural areas can get the care they need from the comfort of their own homes, which can improve patient engagement, satisfaction, and retention.
- Make better-informed treatment decisions. When providers are able to access and analyze vast quantities of patient data, they can make better-informed decisions and improve patient health outcomes, and RPM enables this with its monitoring and data analysis capabilities.
- Provide more proactive care. With RPM, providers can track patient vital signs and regularly check in with them. This allows for a wider view of the patient’s condition, making it easier to adjust care and advise patients to prevent complications and avoid escalations.
- Encourage more patient engagement. When patients feel ownership over their care, they’re more likely to adhere to their treatment plan and medication regimen and less likely to skip appointments. RPM, by putting the tools of care in patients’ hands, encourages this ownership.
- Free up resources and prevent burnout. According to an Apollo Intelligence report, nearly half of U.S. physicians reported burnout in 2023, and 70% have concerns about staffing challenges. RPM can free up resources in the clinic, ease the burden on in-person physician care, and automate tedious administrative tasks by syncing data with EHR systems.
- Feel more confident entering value-based care programs. As more healthcare institutions transition from fee-for-service models to value-based care solutions, RPM services can help providers set milestones to plan, implement, and scale their new care programs.
- Identify cost savings. The data providers collect from RPM solutions can help them better identify what treatment works best. This will likely result in more targeted, personalized, and effective care plans, trimming wasted costs with a narrower scope.
RPM benefits for payers
With RPM, payers can:
- Better contain and minimize costs. By tracking vital signs and other physiological patient data, doctors don’t have to conduct unnecessary or exploratory testing, which can help lower overall costs and keep them contained by billing only the requisite services.
- Cultivate more efficient care delivery. Certain RPM platforms can generate automatic alerts, notifications, and insights that help payers enhance care coordination with providers and facilitate more accurate, timely care.
- Improve member satisfaction and retention. RPM can help payers better manage chronic and other complex conditions, resulting in higher-quality, more personalized services for members. This can improve HEDIS scores, star ratings, and member satisfaction and retention.
- Access more data. As more data is collected from RPM devices, it can be easier to develop predictive models of risk and track patient trends, helping avoid unnecessary patient intervention and readmissions.
- Reduce patient care-related phone calls. RPM platforms provide patients with avenues for regular virtual communication with their doctors. This means fewer follow-up calls to schedule appointments that may not be needed.
- Provide more education and resources on preventive care. High-risk patients, like those being treated in a post-discharge or chronic care model, may be more likely to develop comorbidities, exacerbate illness, or experience other adverse effects, but RPM can track that risk and allow providers to deliver preventive care information directly to patients to help avoid escalations.
- Better facilitate value-based, patient-centric care. RPM benefits compound, ultimately delivering a more efficient, cost-effective system that supports patient health outcomes, enabling payers to transition from a fee-for-service model to a value-based care model.
Paving the way for value-based care solutions
Due to its benefits for patients, providers, and payers, RPM is shaping the future of value-based care and paving the way for a new standard of care that revolves around the patient and their health.
From transitional care management to hospital-at-home care and chronic care management, RPM can help providers strengthen patient relationships while improving care outcomes, and payers can enjoy more efficient care delivery and reduced costs. Patient monitoring is a win for everyone involved.