How Remote Patient Monitoring Can Change The Future Of Healthcare

Anja Reschke

Could remote sensors really change the status or outcome of a health condition? It’s possible.

Many healthcare research projects are in the works to improve and increase remote patient monitoring (RPM), which is the ability to monitor patient conditions from a distance using remote sensors.

Real-time monitoring can enable a doctor to remotely assess changes in a patient’s condition and react accordingly. One example is a sensor that can remotely monitor a patient’s heart condition in real time to potentially preempt heart attacks.

According to the SAP eBook, Connected Care: The Digital Pulse of Global Healthcare, monitoring vital signs such as heart rate and blood chemistry, including blood sugar levels, enables problems to be spotted quickly. Doctors can then prescribe healthcare treatment as a condition changes, often early enough to prevent further damage.

How RPM works

The SAP Connected Care eBook and the Infosys whitepaper, Digital Healthcare Ecosystem, outline how remote patient monitoring works:

  • Health data captured from IoT devices is synced to a cloud infrastructure.
  • Healthcare provider systems can access this data via secure web services.
  • Healthcare providers can then perform Big Data analytics to identify people at risk that may require attention.
  • Patient profiles can then be highlighted on relevant caregiver dashboards so they can tend to selected patients quickly.

The potential impact of remote monitoring

Insurers are encouraging healthcare providers to use remote monitoring sensors to reduce costs. According to the SAP eBook, some insurance companies are questioning why they should pay for expensive hospital treatments if remote sensors and consultations work just as well. Many insurers are exploring new reimbursement models based on the possibilities of RPM. These new policies consider healthcare monitoring in the patient’s home as a way to reduce the cost of repeated expensive hospital visits.

How RPM can change society

RPM will likely have a profound impact on healthcare and on society as a whole. The SAP Radio show, IoT and Healthcare: Bringing IT Home, Part 1, discusses the following possibilities:

  • Seniors may be able to live in their own homes longer because remote monitoring can potentially delay moves to nursing homes or hospitals.
  • It will be easier for relatives and other remote caregivers to keep track of their relatives’ health from a distance.
  • Healthcare costs can be reduced because issues can be addressed before they become acute, which could lead to fewer hospital visits.

Transferring healthcare monitoring from hospitals to the home is disrupting traditional models of healthcare delivery. Learn other ways that technology is changing the future of healthcare in the SAP eBook, Connected Care: The Digital Pulse of Global Healthcare.

See how the digital era is affecting the business environment in the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

Discover the driving forces behind digital transformation in the SAP eBook, Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

About Anja Reschke

Anja Reschke is the Senior Director of Strategic Ecosystem Marketing at SAP. She is responsible for the development of joint strategic marketing plans, programs, and activities, with global strategic services and technology partners.