How the Internet of Things Enables Remote Patient Monitoring with Telehealth

Defining Remote Patient Monitoring

The possibility with the Internet of Things to achieve greater interconnectivity, share data, and leverage operational advantages has made it a pervasive force in all industries, particularly medicine. 

The pandemic has put a premium on everything remote and is responsible for accelerating developments in remote patient monitoring.

Remote patient monitoring facilitated by IoT is revolutionizing healthcare delivery. IoT’s capability to capture and monitor data through devices connected to the same network allows healthcare providers to deliver care through a network of interconnected home-based devices.

Moreover, with the smart sensor technology, healthcare companies can now capture a remote reading on the patient’s status indicated by signs and measures open for remote detection.

Applications of IoT in Remote Patient Monitoring

The global Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)- as this arm of IoT application is dubbed- market was valued at over USD 44,500 million back in 2018 and is expected to surge to reach USD 254,200 million and more by 2026, growing at 24.4% during the said period.

North America held a 43% share of the global market in 2018 and is expected to dominate it in the years to come.

Telemonitoring keeps high-risk patients safer

In many circumstances, healthcare providers decide that a patient needs 24/7 monitoring. A patient may be in a far-off rural land or may even be an in-patient. The traditional option for the former is to assign a caregiver or family member to take care of the patient round-the-clock. However, that is often not feasible if a person does not have their friends and relatives nearby or reside in an isolated location without proper access to healthcare facilities.

There’s now a new category of patient monitoring devices to watch multiple patients simultaneously and alert healthcare staff in troublesome situations. The response times of delivering such notifications can be as small as 15.1 seconds.

Wearables to track eating behaviors

Individuals struggling with losing or gaining weight often consult nutritionists and other dietary professionals. They may get access to their advice but fall short of following it. They may forget to record a meal or misbelieve what they ate on a particular day.

Carnegie Mellon University developed a new wearable called FitByte that uses sensors on eyeglasses to keep track of patients’ eating habits. It cumulatively detects sound, vibrations and movement to increase the accuracy of captured information and avoid discrepancies.

The device tracks all intake stages, including hand-to-mouth gestures, swallowing, visuals of intake, and more. The researchers are now creating a mobile app interface to share data with users in real-time.

Voice monitoring for Mental Health Status Tracking

Texas A&M University wants to take away the mental health struggles of college students through sensors and ML algorithms that detect excessive anxiety symptoms. The solution works with available smartwatches and offers resources to students to calm down and ground themselves.

Alongside suggesting mindfulness exercises and presenting biofeedback scenarios through the wearable, the solution also supports remote counseling sessions with mental health practitioners to provide students with the proper care.

Oncology Treatment Monitoring

While oncology is one area out of many where IoT can significantly improve care outcomes and offer care to otherwise remote and inaccessible locations and demographics, the application is critical.

One aspect is care delivery in urgent and dire moments. Doctors can use devices interconnected to a network to analyze patient conditions and deliver treatment through a relative or friend present with the patient.

Another aspect is continuous, long-term, remote monitoring for patients who are, let’s say, undergoing chemotherapy or other long-term diagnoses. IoT devices can help monitor heartbeats, temperature, water levels, oxygen levels and even electrolytes. 

There are also ways for remote patients to converse and consult with their care provider and for the clinician to monitor their speech patterns to find out looming diseases such as dementia and delirium.

Benefits of IoT for RPM

Remote Patient Monitoring presents itself as an alternative way of care delivery. It may even become the more efficient way of care delivery with better applications and solutions supporting the IoT technology.

Here are a few benefits of IoT for RPM-

Improved Efficiency

With the effortless, in-moment communication between care providers and patients, RPM proves to be a convenient and more efficient way of delivering healthcare services. Even care practices can shift to automated systems with scheduling appointments without a middleman or a less efficient scheduling process.

Early Intervention

IoT in healthcare can maximize the timeliness of care delivery for time-critical and serious medical conditions and incidents. The extra few seconds offered by continuous delivery can make a world of difference for care outcomes.

Accuracy of Treatment

While IoT in care delivery is efficient and timely, the accuracy of care delivery allows relief teams to act faster and with more confidence knowing that alerts are produced by a reliable system of sensors and other devices. This is especially critical for patients residing in rural or remote areas.

Security & Safety

Sophisticated network security can yield digital security while transferring or accessing patient health information. Fall prevention and similar tools can amplify the physical security of patients.

Mobility

Patients are increasingly demanding access to healthcare via consumer devices, as seen in an uptick in devices like FitBit. By granting them the option to access care through mobile channels and then exceeding their expectations with engaging and user-friendly content and interactions can ensure improved patient satisfaction. 

For care providers, remote patient monitoring can mean high patient satisfaction rates and engagement rates, besides an uptick in revenue and brand loyalty. 

For patients, remote patient monitoring can mean inclusivity and safety in the confines of their home.

If you want to leverage this opportunity and execute on an idea for a remote patient monitoring system, our IoT services team is at your disposal.

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