How do healthcare professionals ensure they can deliver constant, quality care to patients in remote locations? How do patients ensure they have professional support without having to spend time and effort in hospital visits? The answer lies in remote patient monitoring- an action of monitoring patient's health without physically being present. The integration of communication technologies into patient care has provided professionals with a game changing solution to deliver a superior quality of medical attention, remotely.
Consumer health devices such as portable ECG monitors and blood pressure trackers have facilitated remote sharing of patient information. Doctors today can monitor health vitals of patients using a secure webpage where the information is shared by a mobile transmitter that acts as the medium between the device and the doctor. More recently, manufacturers of implantable medical devices such as pacemakers have been integrating connectivity into their products. These can be manually interrogated by a third party to perform tests that would otherwise require administration by a doctor.
These tests are making remote checkups for device maintenance, effective and convenient. Additionally, these devices have been enabled to relay statistics such as arrhythmias, which could help avert emergency situations. Technology such as this is providing valuable support to healthcare professionals, particularly in providing care to patients that need regular monitoring. A whole segment of patients that suffers from long term conditions including congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and diabetes stand to benefit from Remote Device Motoring (RDM) with the convenience of care without spending time at clinics.
Another trend which is increasingly finding adoption in the healthcare industry is the usage of e-ICU models. These models allow specialized doctors in remote locations to monitor patients using two-way cameras, high speed internet and connected devices. RDM is helping move healthcare into an always-on environment where personal treatment is facilitated by data from connected devices.
The proliferation of RDM-enabled devices is being further accelerated by database integration features. Emergent RDM devices such as bandages and bracelets that transmit patient location along with health readings are transferring this information to a central database. Database-enabled tools can then alert doctors and their patients to improve treatment of illnesses. Soon patients could possess USB sticks that connect to a database of medical history which can then instantaneously be shared with institutions. RDM based solutions are also entering the workplace with modules that provide monitoring solutions to employees with chronic conditions. Workplace productivity could see an increase with timely device alerts and personalized web pages that track an employee's wellness levels.
Remote device monitoring systems, therefore, can change the way patient care takes place by massively reducing effort and error. Consequently, infrequent hospital visits are driving down costs and encouraging adoption. Research firm IHS suggests that, wireless remote monitoring devices will be used by more than 1.8 million people worldwide in four years. Soon these systems could become a standard across the industry, driven by high receptiveness and progress in database maintenance.
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