Remote patient monitoring is here to stay
2020 has been a year of digital transformation, particularly in the healthcare industry. The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed the adoption of Telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) services, as practices were closed and stay-at-home orders were put into place globally. In fact, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported an increase of 11,718% in the use of Telehealth services in the United States between the beginning of March 2020 and the middle of April. This spike in demand for virtual care prompted CMS to issue new rules and waivers of requirements to ensure that hospitals and practices could rapidly roll out Telehealth and RPM services. We explored how patients and care providers were impacted and how RPM can emerge even stronger in 2021 and beyond.
How were healthcare professionals affected?
Throughout the year Qardio spoke to a variety of healthcare professionals to understand how their practices were impacted by the pandemic. For many, it was their first time taking consultations online and delivering patient care remotely. Dr. Virginia Thornley of Virginia Thornley, M.D., started using Telehealth services at the start of the outbreak and found it particularly beneficial for patients in rural areas where specialist resources may be limited. For QardioMD user and medical director Dr. Tro Kalayjian, of Dr. Tro’s Medical Weight Loss and Direct Primary Care, the transition was even more seamless. With Qardio’s remote patient monitoring solution, QardioMD, already in place before the pandemic, Dr. Tro was able to easily transition his whole practice from 50% to 100% remote patient care. RPM and Telehealth services can be used to help care providers continue to deliver patient care, regardless of any prior technical experience.
How were patients impacted?
While healthcare providers had to quickly inform themselves about the latest virtual care platforms in order to continue to deliver patient care, patients started to use video calls and remote monitoring devices to monitor their health at home. We surveyed over 5600* Qardio users to learn their thoughts on heart health at home since the pandemic, and 70% stated that monitoring heart health at home is ‘very’ and ‘extremely’ important since COVID-19, while 93% shared that they felt safer having a blood pressure monitor at home. Patients have embraced Telehealth tech and remote monitoring devices, demonstrating how adaptable and responsive patients can be.
New COVID-19 solution
The pandemic presented both opportunities and challenges, and Qardio was able to directly respond to the pandemic through a partnership with OBS Medical to integrate the Visensia Safety Index directly within QardioMD. QardioMD+VSI scores the probability of patient deterioration, often in pre-symptomatic patients. This allows care providers to identify and triage patients at risk of deterioration on a remote basis before conditions escalate. This solution has been rapidly deployed to eight countries so far.
What’s next for remote patient monitoring in 2021?
As the world enters into a new era of virtual healthcare in 2021, how do care providers continue to deliver remote care alongside in-person visits? Will care providers still choose to invest in Telehealth and RPM services? 87%** of care providers surveyed reported that they will be investing in Telehealth and over 95% stated that they would be encouraging more patients to remotely monitor their health at home. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact healthcare providers and patients worldwide, it has become increasingly clear that RPM and Telehealth systems are crucial for the future of healthcare and effective patient engagement.
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