Remote Patient Monitoring

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) uses digital technologies to collect medical and other forms of health data from individuals in one location and electronically transmit that information securely to health care providers in a different location for assessment and recommendations.

Monitoring programs can collect a wide range of health data from the point of care, such as vital signs, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, and electrocardiograms.

This data is then transmitted to health professionals in facilities such as monitoring centers in primary care settings, hospitals and intensive care units, skilled nursing facilities, and centralized off-site case management programs.  Health professionals monitor these patients remotely and act on the information received as part of the treatment plan.

Monitoring programs can also help keep people healthy, allow older and disabled individuals to live at home longer and avoid having to move into skilled nursing facilities. RPM can also serve to reduce the number of hospitalizations, readmissions, and lengths of stay in hospitals—all of which help improve quality of life and contain costs.

Patient Monitoring Successes

Monitoring programs are tools to help achieve the "triple aim" of health care, by improving patient outcomes and access to care, and to make health care systems more cost effective.

For example:

  • This 2015 study titled, “Feasibility and Acute Care Utilization Outcomes of a Post-Acute Transitional Telemonitoring Program for Underserved Chronic Disease Patients", investigated acute care utilization outcomes during use of a 90-day transitional telemonitoring program for underserved COPD and heart failure patients. Patients were enrolled in the program between October 2010 and August 2012, and researchers measured rates of emergency department visits and all-cause re-admission after 30, 90, and 180 days. The study found a 50% reduction in 30-day readmission and a 13-19% decrease in 180-day readmission among patients who received the telemonitoring intervention. Ultimately, they concluded that remote patient monitoring has the potential to reduce long-term acute care utilization.

  • The Relationship Between Level of Adherence to Automatic Wireless Remote Monitoring and Survival in Pacemaker and Defibrillator Patients”, a 2015 study, examined the relationship between survival and adherence to remote patient monitoring in pacemaker and defibrillator patients. The researchers studied 269,471 patients who received pacemakers, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, or cardiac resynchronization therapy, noting their weekly use and all-cause survival following implantation. The results showed that those who spent more time using remote monitoring had higher survival rates than those who did not use remote monitoring, providing evidence that increased use of remote monitoring can improve patient outcomes.

For more research articles on remote patient monitoring, see CCHP's RPM research catalogue. More detailed information on the benefits of RPM and care for the aging population can be obtained from: Center on Technology and Aging and The Oregon Center for Aging and Technology.