Employing the various remote patient monitoring devices currently available in healthcare will help you manage more patients without compromising time.
Each remote patient monitoring device serves a different purpose. This article will explore 6 valuable RPM devices and their applications.
Remote Patient Monitoring Devices in Healthcare
Frequently utilized remote patient monitoring devices in healthcare include:
- Blood pressure monitors
- Blood glucose meters
- Activity trackers
- Pulse Oximeters
The availability of these devices will vary based on the provider.
In the following sections, we’ll review what conditions these remote patient monitoring devices help manage and how to use them.
1. Blood Pressure Monitors
Blood pressure monitors help individuals with hypertension ensure that their blood pressure stays within a healthy range.
Hypertension is a major risk factor for many chronic diseases like heart failure and stroke.
By effectively keeping track of blood pressure levels and getting timely medical attention when necessary, a blood pressure monitor can help prevent or minimize the effects of chronic disease.
How to Use
Most digital blood pressure monitors are very user-friendly, which makes it ideal for remote use.
Tenovi’s BPM works right out of the box, which eliminates the hassle of device set-up.
For the best results, encourage your patient to relax for about 5 minutes before they take their measurements. Have them sit comfortably, avoid crossing their legs, and keep their arm rested on top of a table or armrest.
All your patients have to do is place their arm inside the arm cuff and press the middle button. The cuff will start inflating, take the blood pressure measurement, and then send the data directly to you (the healthcare provider).
Both healthcare providers and patients will be able to access systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate. Tenovi BPM has an industry-leading accuracy rate of 95%.
The top number is the patient’s systolic blood pressure measurement. This indicates the amount of pressure in your arteries when your heart is beating. According to the American Heart Association, any reading above 130 mmHg is considered hypertensive.
The bottom number is your patient’s diastolic blood pressure. This is the amount of pressure in between heartbeats. Any reading above 80 mmHg is considered hypertensive.
Weight gain of 3 or more pounds in a single day can be indicative of congestive heart failure.
Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart cannot efficiently pump blood throughout the body.
At-risk individuals typically experience shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, and dizziness.
While it is completely normal for weight to fluctuate, weight gain in at-risk patients can serve as a precursor to more serious conditions.
By monitoring a patient’s body weight, clinicians can quickly identify signs of heart failure and focus on early management.
How to use
All the patient has to do is step on the scale to turn it on and wait for the reading.
The information will automatically send to the clinician, and the device will turn off on its own.
For the most accurate results, advise your patients to:
- Weigh themselves at the same time every day (preferably the morning)
- Avoid eating or drinking right before the weigh-in
- Wear the same clothing for each weigh-in or weigh without clothes on
Regular bodyweight measurements can help healthcare providers evaluate the effectiveness of a patient’s management plan and if necessary, quickly make adjustments to better control fluid retention.
3. Blood Glucose Meters
Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States as well as the 4th most common cause of physician visits.
If poorly managed, diabetes can cause kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, and blindness.
By utilizing a blood glucose meter to remotely monitor blood sugar levels, clinicians can better assess whether a patient’s management plan is working or not and make adjustments to optimize care.
How to use
Tenovi’s Blood Glucose Meter includes a cell-enabled meter, lancet, and custom test strips that make measuring blood sugar very simple.
Gather all the materials and perform the following steps with clean hands:
- Insert the test strip into the meter
- Wipe finger with an alcohol pad and let dry
- Gently prick the side of the finger with the lancet
- Place drop of blood onto the test strip and wait for the reading
Most patients should aim for blood glucose levels between 80-130mg/dL before a meal or below 180 mg/dL in about 2 hours after a meal.
If a patient’s blood glucose levels are too high, they may need to adjust their diet or medications.
4. Activity Trackers
Following neurological injuries like stroke, traumatic brain injury, or spinal cord injury, individuals may experience paralysis and lose motor control.
Massed practice of a movement will promote neuroplasticity (the central nervous system’s ability to rewire itself to recover damaged functions). The more your patient practices moving, the better the brain gets at recognizing the demand for that movement and adapts its neural circuitry.
Generally, the exercises performed during physical or occupational therapy sessions are not enough and requires additional at-home practice.
The problem is, many patients don’t have the motivation to consistently perform the same movement over and over on their own. Activity trackers provide visual progress reports that boost daily motivation.
Remote activity monitoring is ideal for physical or occupational therapists that want to keep track of their clients’ movements outside of the clinic. This will help them better understand how effective their exercise or activity regimen is and ensure that the patient is practicing at home.
How to Use
Activity trackers can come in a variety of forms including pedometers and watches. While these are extremely useful, they won’t advise patients on what kind of exercises they should be practicing.
Tenovi provides an upgraded solution: FitMi. FitMi is an at-home rehab device that comes with 40 effective hand, arm, trunk, and leg exercises. It comes with 2 sensorized pucks and a tablet that tracks patients’ activity levels, guides them through the exercises, and keeps them motivated.
The Tenovi Health platform is synced into the FitMi so that the clinician will receive all the information in real-time. This acquaints clinicians with what exercises their patients are completing in-between visits.
A spirometer is used for measuring lung volume for individuals with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or pulmonary fibrosis.
Patients experiencing shortness of breath, frequent coughing, or wheezing may be at risk of lung disease and can benefit from remote spirometry.
Frequent lung capacity measurements will help clinicians determine if the disease is improving or worsening as quickly as possible.
How to Use
A spirometer is a fairly intuitive remote patient monitoring device employed in healthcare.
All your patient has to do is take a deep breath and blow into the mouthpiece as hard and quickly as they can.
A spirometer will measure 1) forced vital capacity (FVC) and 2) forced expiratory volume (FEV1). FVC is the amount of air exhaled. FEV1 is the amount of air exhaled in the first second.
For the most accurate results, patients should blow into the device at least 3 times.
6. Pulse Oximeter
Another remote patient monitoring device in healthcare that is useful for assessing lung disease is a pulse oximeter.
A pulse oximeter measures heart rate and oxygen saturation in a patient’s red blood cells.
Patients with conditions that affect blood oxygen levels like heart attack, heart failure, COPD, anemia, lung cancer, asthma, and pneumonia may benefit from regular pulse oximetry.
How to Use
Pulse oximetry is typically tested at the fingertips to measure how well oxygen is being sent to areas of your body furthest from the heart.
Just turn on the device, place a finger inside the slit, and wait for the reading. A pulse oximeter uses light to measure the amount of oxygen in your blood at a given point.
Pulse oximeters will show blood oxygen saturation level (SpO2) and pulse rate.
Patients should seek medical attention if their reading indicates:
- SpO2 under 90% (hypoxia)
- Low pulse rate
- High pulse rate
Most remote patient monitoring devices will notify the healthcare provider immediately as well.
Remote Patient Monitoring Devices for Improved Healthcare
Utilizing any of these remote patient monitoring devices can help transform quality of care in between clinic visits.
Early identification and prompt intervention is key to successful management of chronic conditions.
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