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 ca 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:

  • In this 2014 study, a six-month feasibility study was conducted on eight patients with a history of Acute Exacerbation of CODP (AECOPD).  Each patient was given a mobile phone to record major symptoms, such as dyspnoea, sputum color and sputum volume; minor symptoms such as cough and wheezing; and vital signs. During the trial, the rate of hospital admissions were significantly lower and there were fewer ED presentations and GP visits compared to a six-month matched period in the preceding year. Such results showed “the potential of home monitoring for [analyzing] respiratory symptoms for early intervention AECOPD.”

  • In this 2013 study, 99 older patients with heart failure were admitted to home health care following a hospitalization.  They were followed up to 180 days post-discharge; results showed those in the telemonitoring group had better health status by home health care discharge than those who received usual care. Also, there was no difference in the time to rehospitalizations or emergency visits between those who received telemonitoring care vs usual care.

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.