Remote Patient Monitoring Programs Remain in Infancy Stages

Many remote patient monitoring programs are in the early stages of development, research from Insights by Xtelligent Healthcare Media found.

Many remote patient monitoring programs aim to prevent health emergencies for patients with chronic conditions, but these programs tend to still be in the early stages of development, according to the latest research from Insights by Xtelligent Healthcare Media.

Connected health can be a bit of an elusive term as it encompasses any technology that promotes a better patient experience and works to improve patient outcomes. From video telehealth solutions to patient portals, organizations are leveraging a variety of tools to meet the needs of themselves and their patients.

Remote patient monitoring programs are key among connected health offerings, found Insights, the research division of Xtelligent Healthcare Media. The report sought to understand the impact of growing connected health solutions at provider organizations and challenges to optimizing these technologies.


Results from Security and Privacy Challenges to Connected Health reveal 31 percent of all respondents are offering remote patient monitoring programs as a part of their connected health strategy. But these programs are still in the early stages of development, as seven percent of organizations are still in the planning phase of these programs.


Another 21 percent of survey respondents say their remote patient monitoring programs are in a pilot testing phase and 43 percent say their program is in place or sustainable. Few (29 percent) are scaling their programs, but none say their programs have been optimized yet.


“There’s a lot that goes into monitoring. If you implement a remote monitoring program, the challenge ultimately becomes who is responsible for the data,” said the director of telemedicine at a health system during qualitative follow-up.


This challenge is exacerbated by the variety of features remote patient monitoring programs can have. No two programs look alike, and survey respondents indicate their programs have a variety of features:

  • Telehealth portal for video calls (75 percent)
  • Connected devices supplied by the care provider (64 percent)
  • Daily or weekly surveys (50 percent)
  • On-demand, two-way messaging (46 percent)
  • Medication adherence tools (36 percent)
  • Smart devices in the home (36 percent)

Despite the variety, respondents are overwhelmingly confident in these programs. Thirty-two percent say they are very confident their remote patient monitoring programs are meeting patient expectations, and 29 percent say the same about meeting provider expectations.


This confidence comes, in part, from the versatility of these programs and the flexibility they offer patients. For example, a patient with white-coat syndrome would greatly benefit from an at-home blood pressure monitoring device.


“Providers would over-prescribe her if they were only relying on that [in-office] information,” explained a representative from a non-profit connected health organization. “With remote monitoring, she’s taking her readings at home and that’s being transmitted to the doctor so they can see what she’s like in daily life and make adjustments to her medication, which leads to better outcomes.”


Examples like this are why patients with chronic conditions are the primary target for remote patient monitoring technologies, according to 81 percent of respondents.


“I would love that kind of availability to offer a patient an easy way to track their experiences, their mood, their anxiety, their thoughts, their behaviors, in a meaningful way,” emphasized a clinical social worker.


The biggest benefit to these programs is preventing health emergencies, say 36 percent of respondents, in both the physical and mental health space. At-home monitoring solutions give providers insight into patient life outside of the office visit.


There is a willingness to develop these programs to fit population-specific needs despite slow initial uptake. As remote patient monitoring programs continue to grow, they have the potential to impact may patients with chronic conditions and better health outcomes.   


This article originally appeared on mhealthintelligence.com