Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a subcategory of telehealth that empowers patients to use mobile technology devices to capture patient-generated health data outside of a traditional health care environment and send it back to healthcare professionals.
The use of RPM has increased dramatically in the setting of COVID-19, both for monitoring of patients with symptoms concerning for COVID-19 infection, as well as for non-COVID-related monitoring.
A recent article published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association by a group from M Health Fairview in Minnesota describes the rapid adoption of a COVID-19 RPM platform during the pandemic. After seeing an increase in asynchronous e-visits of over 4000%, the hospital system rapidly deployed a COVID-19 RPM program using interactive engagement technology. Through the RPM platform, the patients were given:
Information about COVID-19
Social distancing and hand washing reminders
Daily check-in questions each morning to assess COVID-19 symptoms
Over the course of one month (March, 2020 - April, 2020), 1,496 patients completed the RPM program. Most patients were referred to the RPM platform after doing an asynchronous e-visit. Patient comments about the solution were positive overall. The data also reflected the lack of COVID-19 testing kits at that time with only 8% of participants actually getting a COVID-19 test.
Anecdotally, patients reported avoiding an emergency department or urgent care visit because of the RPM platform. Over the coming months, the academic community can expect more detailed and complete assessments of RPM platforms during COVID-19.