Remote Patient Monitoring for Senior Living has collected a lot of data: Now healthcare orgs have to figure out what to do with it

January 12

Remote Patient Monitoring For Senior Living - What to do with all that data?

Healthcare providers — even senior care providers, can often be slow to adopt new technology — are increasingly buying into the use of remote patient monitoring tools.

And the premise is a good one: Combined with artificial intelligence, wearables or passive sensors can collect health vitals, build a behavior pattern and then flag a concern before an older adult has a falling emergency or
suffers a heart attack.

Next Steps for Remote Patient Monitoring For Senior Living

Although the concept of RPM is gaining traction rapidly, the next step for healthcare organizations is to address more granular questions such as how long should individuals be continuously monitored and who gets to see the data.

Experts addressed “what happens next” for RPM in a new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center, “The Future of Remote Monitoring,” that was released this month.

“Underuse [of RPM] could limit access to beneficial care,” the report’s authors noted, “while overuse could unnecessarily increase spending in federal health care programs. Additionally, providers cite the need for tools — such as (AI) — to manage streams of data, otherwise the volume of patient-generated information can become overwhelming and unmanageable.”

Many providers are aware of the need to synthesize the data in something meaningful for both clinicians and patients; some RPM companies are creating “actionable information” in the form of weekly or even daily health reports, and are helping senior living and care staff members prioritize high-risk residents and patients, an executive with EchoCare recently told the McKnight’s Tech Daily.

As RPM becomes more extensive and is used to monitor a wider range of conditions, federal agencies and healthcare providers may need to update their coverage policies, the BPC report observed. In addition, the report recommends reviewing existing privacy protection laws to make sure they apply to RPM tools. 

Remote Patient Monitoring For Senior Living: Prevent ED Visits and Reduces Costs

One of the four case studies the report analyzed was on heart failure, a major concern among older adults; the researchers worked with the Department of Veteran Affairs and found monitoring symptoms via a wearable prevented emergency department visits and reduced costs. 

Older adults with heart failure, as a group, have been singled out as not using new monitoring devices as often as they could, according to one recent study.


This article orginally appeared on McKnight Senior Living

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