Remote patient monitoring (RPM) systems are one of the main benefits of IoT technology in healthcare. The RPM system is more than just a technological tool for monitoring patients' vital signs. The RPM system gathers patient data outside of traditional healthcare settings using the latest advances in information technology. RPM solutions became so helpful when no free beds were available, and hospitals and clinics were crowded with patients during COVID-19 outbreaks. This article will discuss how RPM software can facilitate a wide range of healthcare processes and how to develop your application.
What is remote patient monitoring, and what types of it
Here, we briefly discuss the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is a system of interconnected computing devices that collect and transfer data wirelessly without human intervention. The most popular applications for the Internet of Things are:
- Wearables are perhaps the most visible aspect of the IoT to the general public. Among them are fitness trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses, and virtual reality headsets.
- A smart home system automates specific tasks by connecting appliances to software and is usually controlled remotely. Devices in smart homes might include wireless kitchen appliances, smart lighting, motorized blinds, and so on.
- Smart cities use IoT devices such as connected sensors and meters to collect and analyze data. This data can improve infrastructure, public utilities, and services.
- Self-driving cars typically have an IoT-based technology system that shares information about the vehicle and the road it’s driving along. Data about traffic, navigation, the external environment, and more are gathered and analyzed by the car's computer systems to enable it to drive independently.
- The IoT is increasingly used in retail. For example, consider automated checkouts, personalized discounts, smart shelves, and robotic employees.
- Smart farming involves the use of digital technology to improve farming efforts. By using connected sensors, cameras, and other devices, farmers can better understand their farms and adjust their operations accordingly.
- Telehealth or telemedicine refers to the delivery of health services through technology. The Internet of Things is an essential component of telehealth (also known as IoMT). Medical imaging communication through digital technology, video consultations with specialists, etc., are examples of remote medical diagnosis. A remote monitoring system is much more than just a technological tool for monitoring patients' vital signs.
Defining a patient monitoring system will be helpful before discussing remote monitoring and different types of monitoring software. The term "patient monitoring system" refers to any technology and processes healthcare providers use to monitor vital biological indicators. For example, a patient monitoring system includes an electrocardiography (ECG) machine that enables physicians to monitor the heart's vital signs.
Another important term to discuss is remote patient monitoring (RPM). The RPM system is more than just a technological tool for monitoring patients' vital signs. An RPM system gathers patient data outside of traditional healthcare settings using the latest advances in information technology.
In light of these definitions, we can discuss the different types of patient monitoring systems. Though many types are sorted into two broad categories: bedside (or hospital, doctor's office) and remote (or home) patient monitoring systems.
Varieties of the RPM systems
Defining what kind of medical care you want to deliver before developing the system is crucial. RPM apps are highly varied, making e-health accessible to all users. Among the most popular solutions are those for cardiac patients, vital signs, mood tracking, and pregnant women.
Low-amplitude signals are used to monitor patient status in real-time remotely. It is designed specifically for patients with pacemakers, defibrillators, cardiac resynchronization, and implantable heart monitors.
Baseline Signs Monitoring
Focuses on monitoring basic physiological parameters such as blood glucose, blood pressure, temperature, and oxygen saturation. Medical providers receive the data via compact trackers, smartwatches, and electric stethoscopes that analyze and transmit it.
During pregnancy, the main goal is to track women's health conditions. IoT trackers can detect even the slightest abnormalities at any time.
RPM software can detect mood changes and depressive symptoms because tracking mood requires constant observation. A platform measures a person's heart rate, blood pressure, physical activity, and sleep patterns. Collected data analyzed and compared it with depression-related measurements.
Due to the growing popularity, remote healthcare technologies and investment in software development have grown significantly. The growth rate of the Global Market for Remote Patient Monitoring Systems is 12.5%, with an estimated value of $1700.0 Million by 2027. The number of people using remote monitoring tools in the United States alone will reach 30 million by 2024. With the wider adoption of 5G technology, that number will rise. In addition, RPM solutions can improve analytics, automate routine tasks, help organizations optimize expenses, and improve health care quality.
Global remote patient monitoring market forecast
COVID-19 accelerated patients' use of remote monitoring devices. In 2020, 9 out of 10 healthcare providers invested in or continue to invest in remote monitoring technologies. In addition to chronic diseases becoming more prevalent, healthcare awareness is soaring, and the demand for home-based treatments is growing. Security and privacy concerns, as well as unresolved regulatory concerns, limit the growth of the market.
Chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and hypertension, have increased awareness regarding one's health. The number of individuals suffering from heart-related disorders has also increased significantly in recent years. As a result of these factors, health has become increasingly important among the population in both developed and developing nations. Due to this, the demand for various health monitoring devices has increased significantly in recent years. In countries like the US, India, and Canada, specialty clinics and home healthcare businesses have also increased. During the forecast period, Asia Pacific is expected to offer significant growth opportunities due to growing disposable incomes and urbanization in leading economies like Japan, China, and India.
The global remote patient monitoring market is expected to reach US$ 188,952.22 million by 2028 from US$ 29,062.30 million in 2021. The market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 30.7% from 2021 to 2028.
Since the RPM system concerns not only software but also devices on which everything will work, the global digital patient monitoring devices market size was estimated at USD 62.6 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.5% from 2021 to 2028.
Many countries have adopted digital health tools after realizing their potential. Accordingly, the Federal Communications Commission launched a COVID-19 relief program in April 2020 to equip hospitals with telehealth technology. As a result, market players and start-up companies have developed innovative solutions. VitalConnect, Inc. received Emergency Use Authorization from the USFDA in May 2020 for its VitalPatch cardiac monitoring device.
Architecture of a remote patient monitoring system
Depending on the application, remote monitoring technologies differ. Vital signs are measured by sensors on portable and wearable medical devices. The following elements are typically included in each solution's architecture:
- Data storage. Using sensors on the patient's side, it accumulates data and communicates with centralized storage on the provider's side.
- Centralized storage. Data is collected and stored from various sources, including patient devices, analytics systems, and e-medicine.
- Software used to analyze data. Information is processed from a centralized repository, and alerts are sent to caregivers, providers, and patients as needed. Diagnostic apps on a patient's device can guide what to do next, for example, for patients with heart disease.
Everything is relatively simple, but let's learn more about how RPM work.
Data collection and exchange
The provider offers RPM based on the conditions to be managed remotely. Wearables, IoT devices, and sensors are provided to patients with their consent to collect health data. In most cases, health data is collected and transmitted electronically from patient to provider once the devices are configured correctly. For the transfer to be possible, your device must have a Wi-Fi or LTE adapter. Medical data can also be transferred via Bluetooth to IoT mobile apps via RPM devices.
Using advanced data management and analytics, the clinic's software can automatically transform the patient's RPM data into actionable information and choose the appropriate course of action. As a result of the study, doctors identify potential problems. With the help of AI, the systems analyze data and send quick alerts to patients.
Data collected from remote monitoring systems is transmitted to healthcare providers via the Internet, text, telephone, or other methods of communication. It is possible to simplify communication between doctors and their patients by using RPM with audio and video conferencing capabilities. A basic RPM system can be transformed into a complete telemedicine platform by adding various communication features.
If a patient needs immediate assistance, special emergency services send alerts to contact them and begin treatment. HIPAA, however, prohibits the inclusion of patient information in notifications.
What are the in-demand types of RPM software?
The healthcare community embraced RPM technology when the pandemic created new emergency requirements, investing significantly in this field.
Telehealth software: Using telehealth software, patients and clinicians can communicate over the internet by using features such as teleconferencing, medical file exchange, and instant messaging. General therapy, dermatology, ophthalmology, rehabilitation consultation, and many other fields of medicine can all benefit from this type of software.
IoMT-based applications: In IoMT-based applications, medical devices and wearables can monitor patient health metrics at home using the Internet of Things (IoMT) technology. It is either embedded in medical devices or installed on patients' smartphones/tablets that work with connected devices.
Electronic data capture (EDC) solutions: Using electronic data collection (EDC) solutions, patients can identify and understand their health conditions, including pain levels and other subjective feelings.
With custom RPM software development, you can deliver RPM software of any configuration according to your specific business needs.
What are the benefits of RPM software?
As a business, it is important to understand who you are working with and for. Implementation of the RPM software in your work process can bring some benefits to the healthcare system.
An easy way to access information
Data collection and analysis have become much more manageable since remote monitoring solutions can easily be integrated into homes and clinic beds. The data is collected and uploaded to the Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems in the background. As a result, doctors can make better decisions and provide better care when they have access to real-time patient data.
A healthier life
With RPM devices such as trackers, sensors, and wearable gadgets tracking blood pressure, blood glucose, oxygen saturation, and other vital signs, patients are more aware of their condition. Especially helpful for seniors and people with chronic illnesses.
A cost-saving measure
Investing in an RPM system reduces hospital readmissions and emergency department costs, according to the 2019 Trends in Remote Patient Monitoring report. Doctors can detect vague symptoms and more serious health issues during round-the-clock monitoring. According to the report, health care providers can save up to 65% by offering remote monitoring services.
A decreasing number of remissions
The use of RPM devices can drastically reduce hospital readmission rates. Many discharged patients return to the hospital complaining of dizziness, high blood pressure, and other symptoms. In most cases, these symptoms do not require an in-depth examination. However, doctors can constantly monitor patients' vitals with an RPM system instead of calling them to the hospital.
What are the financial advantages of RPM software?
Multiple studies have shown that RPM reduces costs and improves health outcomes, but how does it affect the finance side? General benefits are
- Reduction in patient care expenses due to fewer complications and improved quality of care.
- A decrease in missed appointments due to online care delivery.
- Increased efficiency of medical staff by reducing routine patient monitoring tasks (e.g., nurses taking manual vital signs), optimizing medical staff schedules, etc.
- An increase in total revenue for a healthcare organization as a result of improved performance, new revenue streams following RPM implementation, and incentive payments provided by Medicare and Medicaid.
How do I create an RPM program?
Before developing an application, you need to conduct an investigation. There is a steady increase in competition in the RPM market. Therefore, healthcare SaaS providers must thoroughly analyze users' needs to attract a larger audience and achieve high satisfaction rates. As a result, you can test the soil before releasing a product. Suppose you wanted to provide a sophisticated remote monitoring solution for patients. Research the best way to aggregate data from multiple sensors and further process it, and automate the processes of measuring body temperature, blood pressure, weight, glucose, and blood oxygen.
The competition also means you can learn the best practices from other organizations. Throughout this block, we will discuss tips for creating a truly effective RPM app.
Remote monitoring devices
A remote patient monitoring platform begins with modern medical tools and devices. From heart rate to glucose level, they collect a wealth of health data without the involvement of healthcare providers. Clinics are permitted to use wireless noninvasive devices to track general physiological parameters remotely only if they comply with FDA requirements. All IoT-based medical devices require a dedicated mobile app to transfer patient data.
Patient-side mobile app
Every RPM solution includes mobile apps. Medical providers can analyze the data directly from the patient's device. To interact with IoT medical devices, a patient's mobile device must meet several criteria, such as supporting Bluetooth low energy, maintaining advanced security for protected health information, and complying with HIPAA regulations. RPM apps usually offer informative visualizations of data, educational materials, medical questionnaires, drug reminders, and tools for doctor-patient communication to increase patient engagement.
In the same way as a patient application, it must comply with HIPAA and follow medical device interoperability regulations. Furthermore, the clinic's EMR system should be integrated with the RPM web platform to prevent data silos from forming.
The following modules should be included in hospital patient monitoring software:
- The medical provider uses a decision support module to compare the patient's data against threshold values. If the limits are exceeded, the notification center is notified.
- The notification module monitors threshold values to send warning messages when they are exceeded.
- Reports are generated from all measurements and manual inputs and sent to doctors.
- Analytics modules use BI tools and data visualization methods to display measurements in real-time and behavioral patterns and trends. Physicians can use it to predict risky events and make well-informed therapy decisions.
Basic patient information is commonly obtained from smartphones by cloud databases. However, some RPM solutions provide direct connectivity to the cloud for healthcare IoT devices. Data is stored in the cloud, so there is no need to download a mobile app. Blockchain can be integrated into cloud computing to reduce data loss and eliminate security concerns. Through end-to-end encryption and advanced database protection, blockchain technology will provide an additional layer of security for patient data.
Healthcare solutions are widespread across all ages, so you must know that not all users are tech-savvy. The interface of RPM software should be simple and intuitive. Avoid overly complicated medical terms and, if necessary, define and explain them. You should also consider the inclusiveness of your application. Not only will ordinary people use your application, but also people with visual, hearing, or other impairments.
RPM solutions connecting wearables and IoT tracking devices work 24 hours daily. A reliable battery ensures constant monitoring, uninterrupted data exchange, and timely notifications to prevent potential problems. So your application must be optimized for adequate energy consumption.
Enable geolocation feature
RPM applications monitor vital signs rather than every aspect of a patient's life. In an emergency, geolocation is essential: doctors need to know where to find patients who need emergency care, and patients can use the feature to locate nearby hospitals.
Patients and doctors should track not only current data but also data history. This will help them better understand the correlation between diets, sleeping schedules, physical activity, weather, etc. To make assessments easier and more accurate, you should provide visual representations of the data.
Create both web and mobile versions of an app
RPM solutions connect patients and medical professionals. When developing an RPM app, it is essential to consider both sides. Mobile versions of the app are more prevalent among patients. Care teams usually use computers for analytics and recommendations and want to be notified about emergencies.
Real-life example of RPM software delivered by Mad Devs
We at Mad Devs are experienced in developing IoT and healthcare software solutions, so we are well versed in the rigorous requirements of the healthcare industry. This area of our business is already successfully operating in the market and receiving excellent reviews.
- IoT solutions: CityCam, IoTsploit
- HealthTech solution: AlloDoc, Bilim App
Please contact us if you want to build an efficient, reliable, and scalable IoMT solution for RPM. Our experienced team will develop RPM software that meets your organization’s and users’ needs.
What about the costs
Software engineers and other development team members account for most of the software development costs. We can give approximate prices to IoT specialists based on the complexity of the project:
Recruiting and hiring new tech talent can be costly if you build an in-house team. Outsourcing software development will include hourly developer wages plus vendor fees.
The cost of the RPM solution depends on several factors because the cost of available features ranges from $200,000 to $400,000 for an app with advanced features. It's easy to overpay for a software solution beyond your requirements or commit to a product that's too basic for your extensive needs if you don't perform your research.
Best examples of RPM software on the market
Take a look at this list of RPM software solutions. This may give you some ideas for your telehealth program.
Dexcom G6 CGM System
The Dexcom company produces and distributes innovative continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems to help people to take control of diabetes.
Dexcom systems focus solely on blood glucose monitoring. For RPM, it sells both hardware and software. Dexcom G6 CGM system, for example, uses a wearable sensor and transmitter to send glucose numbers to a smart device. Patients can share their data with up to ten people to keep family members updated.
Another side of the healthcare professional monitoring is the Dexcom Clarity. Visually analyzing data collected from the wearable device allows the patient to see trends in blood glucose levels. It is possible for clinicians to adjust a patient's treatment plan based on this data.
For over 70 years, Medtronic has been one of the leading healthcare technology companies. This company creates software by bringing together data, artificial intelligence, and knowledge of the human body.
Medtronic offers a full range of remote patient monitoring software. Apps for iOS and Android devices monitor vital signs and other health indicators, such as weight scales, glucometers, and blood pressure monitors. The Medtronic Care Management Services platform allows healthcare providers to analyze the data. Patients' data is alerted to clinicians when they reach predefined levels so they can analyze trends and modify their care plan accordingly.
Doctolib is one of the most profitable French startups. It was originally a scheduling service but has since expanded into telemedicine.
In addition to improving the daily lives of healthcare professionals and patients, the startup aims to build a strong team of entrepreneurs. Patients can connect with health care practitioners through Doctolib, a marketplace in France and Germany. When patients are ready to speak with their doctor, they can begin a video chat. In their user accounts, prescriptions can then be accessed. You can book remote appointments only with practitioners you have seen physically in the last 12 months. In addition to renewing your prescription, you could still use that feature for other minor medical needs.
Philips Company is a Dutch multinational conglomerate corporation that was founded in 1891. Company manufacturer of consumer electronics, electronic components, medical imaging equipment, household appliances, RPM software, etc.
Philips' RPM is a patient-centered connected health solution that empowers healthier behaviors for members and reduces increasing financial strains on health plans, providers, and individuals.
Philips' RPM platform consists of its eCareCoordinator dashboard for clinicians and eCareCompanion app for patients. This RPM software uses patients' data and connected devices. Patients could upload data and enter their temperature using a blood glucose meter as an example. The dashboards for patients and clinicians analyze data, including trends. Clinicians can customize patient care plans and coordinate care with other physicians.
Senseonics is a medical technology company focused on developing and commercializing a long-term, implantable continuous glucose monitoring, or CGM, system to improve the lives of people with diabetes by enhancing their ability to manage their disease with relative ease and accuracy.
Senseonics focuses solely on blood glucose monitoring. Its system consists of a removable transmitter and a sensor implanted under the skin by a healthcare professional. The sensor is connected to a mobile app that analyzes patient data and provides alerts and information through the patient’s smartphone or smartwatch when their blood glucose is too high. The software also provides information on trends in glucose levels. Data can be shared with healthcare providers and family members to help with treatment.
Why choose Mad Devs software services
Our clients receive a fully customizable, legally compliant telemedicine management platform. Furthermore, automating business processes reduces manual operations, improves performance discipline, and reduces paperwork by 5-20%. With our hands-on experience, you can maximize the effectiveness of your remote patient monitoring solutions. By automating the care process and streamlining communication between healthcare providers and patients, you will improve the efficiency of your business.
- Since 2016, in software development.
- HealthTech projects are 10% of all projects.
- Knowledge of healthcare standards (HL7, ICD-10, CPT, XDS/XDS-I, etc.).
- Clutch recognizes our company as one of the Top Custom Software Development Companies 2021, Top Diversity and Inclusion Web Development Companies 2021, and Top IT and Business Service 2019.
When choosing who to go for medical help, patients consider telehealth a must-have rather than a nice-to-have. RPM is the next step in virtual care that involves such benefits as a qualified physician can simultaneously observe more patients at a time, patient health data can be monitored 24/7, and there is no need for patients to stay in hospitals for a long time – they can wear their health-tracking devices at home and lead a normal lifestyle. Also, it is an advanced healthcare opportunity for the elderly or differently-abled patients.
If you want to develop an RPM solution and need professional advice, Mad Devs is here to help you build custom remote patient monitoring software or reinforce your existing RPM projects. Contact us, and let's discuss your needs.