The changing dynamics of the healthcare industry have resulted in healthcare providers focusing more on delivering quality patient care. And a critical aspect of patient care is attending to patients located in remote areas or those who can't visit a medical center due to health issues.
Remote patient monitoring software allows physicians to deliver care to such patients and monitor their health remotely.
There are various remote patient monitoring software solutions available on the market. However, choosing a solution that has all the features your practice requires can be time-consuming. To help you, we've created this buyers guide that has everything you need to know to make the right purchase decision.
Here's what we'll cover:
What is remote patient monitoring software?
Remote patient monitoring software is a software tool that allows physicians to monitor patients' health outside of a traditional hospital setting. It automatically collects health data, such as blood pressure, heart rate, pulse rate, sleep quality, and oxygen level, captured by sensor-based wearable and mobile devices provided to patients.
The collected data is used to continuously monitor patients' health for early detection of potential illnesses or health issues. E.g., physicians can regularly monitor a patient's blood pressure to avoid conditions such as heart attacks or strokes.
Remote monitoring of a patient's blood pressure data in HealthKOS (Source)
Common features of remote patient monitoring software
Different vendors offer different features in their remote patient monitoring software. Selecting software with the right features is easier when you know what the most common features are and what they do.
|Wearable device support
||Sensor-based wearable devices that are provided to patients. These devices are synced with the software to automatically capture and receive health data.
||Provides a single, comprehensive view of patients' health data to highlight what’s important and what needs immediate attention. Physicians can customize the dashboard as per their specific requirements.
|Online patient portal
||An online portal that patients can access via their desktop or mobile device to make appointments, reschedule, view health records, and more.
||Lets physicians conduct remote health consultations via video calls on desktop or mobile devices.
||Helps physicians generate different types of data-driven reports using preexisting report templates, charts, graphs, and more.
||Allows physicians to integrate the software with their existing systems, such as electronic medical records (EMR) software.
What type of buyer are you?
Before you start evaluating options, you'll want to know which buyer category you belong to so you can choose the right software. Most buyers fall into one of the below categories.
- Small practices: These buyers are either solo physicians or work at practices with up to five physicians. They typically have limited or no IT staff, so a software solution with robust implementation and customer support offerings would be ideal for them.
- Midsize practices: These buyers are usually practices that have six to 10 physicians. They mainly aim to improve their operational efficiency and care coordination. They may also want to integrate their existing systems with the software. A remote patient monitoring solution with an online patient portal and integration capabilities should suffice the needs of such buyers.
- Large practices: These buyers are usually practices that have over 10 physicians (e.g., multi-specialty hospitals). They need a scalable solution that seamlessly integrates with several types of existing systems, supports patient documentation, and provides actionable insights. Such buyers should opt for a software tool that offers integration, reporting, and online patient management capabilities in addition to the other mentioned features.
Benefits of remote patient monitoring software
While some of the benefits of remote patient monitoring software may be clear from our discussions above, we've listed the most notable ones in this section.
- Ensures easier access to medical assistance: Remote patient monitoring software allows physicians to conduct online health consultations, which are convenient for patients that live in remote areas or are unable to visit a clinic due to health issues. The software ensures quick assessments, timely communication, and enough time to take preventive steps, thus helping healthcare providers deliver quality patient care.
- Saves time for physicians: Since fewer patients will require in-person checkups, physicians will have more time to focus on patients that need critical care. They'll also be witnessing less congested waiting rooms, which will save time that can be used to consult more patients, thus ensuring higher productivity for physicians during consultation hours.
Key considerations when selecting remote patient monitoring software
Listed below are some important points to consider before purchasing remote patient monitoring software.
- HIPAA compliance: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a U.S. legislation that mandates the protection of patients' health data against unauthorized access. When evaluating vendors, check if their remote patient monitoring software is HIPAA compliant so that the privacy and security of your patients’ health data aren't compromised.
- Mobile app availability: Check with vendors if their remote patient monitoring software is available as a mobile app that works on iOS and Android devices. A mobile-ready solution will allow you to attend to your patients even when you’re on the move. E.g., you can keep tabs on a patient’s vital signs or conduct an urgent video consultation.
- Customer support services: Check out the type of support offered by the vendors you've shortlisted—24/7, 24/5, or only during business hours. Ask about available support channels, such as email, phone call, and live chat. Support services will help you fix software issues that have the potential to impact the quality of patient care you deliver.
Market trend to understand
As you begin your search for remote patient monitoring software, check out this latest market trend that explains what other buyers are investing in.
- Increased investment by hospitals: In a survey of 100 clinical informatics and health IT thought leaders, 88% said that they are either already invested in or planning to invest in remote patient monitoring software to support chronically ill patients.
Note: The application selected in this article is an example to show a feature in context and isn't intended as an endorsement or a recommendation. It has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.