In recent times, the healthcare industry is facing several issues due to the constant mayhem played by the COVID-19 pandemic. In such a scenario, getting access to good quality medical facilities has become too difficult. It’s clear that medical fields are getting plagued by demand and supply constraints, and the collection of patient data is not so easy now.
The pandemic has disrupted the way of conducting the monitoring of patients traditionally. One notable example is the struggle in keeping observation of patients admitted in hospitals where infection rates are high. Furthermore, patients also might fear staying there for a longer duration because of the risk associated with catching coronavirus. Is there any answer to this issue?
Yes, it is where the role of remote patient monitoring (RPM) comes in. First of all, what is RPM? It is a method of managing the health conditions of the patients suffering from acute (or chronic) illness via digital technologies, and also the collection of vital health-related data safely and securely.
Currently, more than 80% of hospitals across the USA are investing in RPM technologies to offer healthcare app solutions to patients that are old, unstable, and at high risk of infections, especially from coronavirus. Now, with the arrival of RPM apps, it has become easy for doctors to keep track of the health conditions of their patients remotely.
So, the fear of staying away from hospitals due to coronavirus lurking around has made RPM apps a viable option for patients and medical staff alike. The given blog will help in showcasing the importance of RPA apps in the healthcare industry and how it is essential in taking the health sector to a great height even after the current pandemic will get over.
RPM Revolution of 2020
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, every industry has been bitten to dust except the healthcare industry. Though healthcare is the need of the hour, yet it has offered a great opportunity for RPM technology to display its capability.
It is evident from the fact that the value of healthcare software development has now valued about $250 billion and is happening all thanks to RPM solutions. Since the crisis from the middle of 2020, all healthcare service providers (both public and private) have been in constant search for a strategy to improve their medical facilities, and have stopped at RPM apps.
There are some interesting facts about RPM apps happening in the world post-COVID:
- RPM technologies will grow at the rate of 25% to 30% in the upcoming years in the telehealth market of the USA
- RPM apps will be utilized for treating patients with acute healthcare condition besides those with chronic conditions
- RPM technologies in the healthcare market will cross more than $1 billion in five years from the current $117 million
Though it is difficult to get access to accurate statistics, yet there has been a tremendous increase in the application for RPM. And it all started with the attack of coronavirus from the beginning of 2020. So, take away from the given fact is that RPM will become long-term prospects for the health professionals even after the ending of the COVID-19 pandemic in near future.
Types of Remote Patient Monitoring Apps
The main objective of an RPM app is to collaborate with patients and doctors together so that the former can avail better medical advice from the latter using the same healthcare app. There are some of the most common types of RPM app solution that are listed below:
- IoT Medical Applications: They help in gathering health data from healthcare trackers and smart sensors and provide them to the doctors. A notable example is HIPAA compliant video conferencing
- Questionnaires-based Apps: Such RPM apps collect health-related information from the patients by asking a series of questions and are the most simple online health solutions
- Telehealth Software: Telehealth RPM offers video calls for doctors to have a medical examination of their patients as per their comfort. Some examples are JotForm, Medtronics, etc.
- Precise Medical Solution App: These RPM programs are used by doctors for collecting health data from the patients exclusively for research purposes. Its example is Apple Watch series app
Key Features for Your RPM App
Before pondering on some of the crucial aspects of the RPM apps, one has to find out a few strategies which should be part of the features of such apps and include:
- The precise way of a collection of data from the patients
- Procedure to present the vital data from patients to healthcare providers
- Focus on enhancing the doctor-patient relations
- Successful creating an interface with patients
So keeping all the above-given aspects in the mind, the basic feature that should be present in RPM apps are as follows:
- Presence of remote consultations through secure video service (like Zoom)
- Availability of 2-way messaging and real-time chat between doctors & patients
- Successful integration of patients’ data with hospitals through a secure API
- Availability & support for numerous payment options
- Appointment notifications with an option for reminder
- Preventive care feature to make interaction for a patient with acute illness easy
- The option of health graph for patients to display illness symptom to doctors regularly
Top 4 RPM Applications on the Market
I. Hale Health
It is one of the powerful RPM applications that is known for delivering instant remote care with great efficacy and have a successful connection with patients that needs intervention. It comprises notable medical sensors for consumer and clinical services. It comes with notable features like video calls & visits, patient engagement tools, remote monitoring tools, automated programs, and many more.
It is an important RPM tool that suits those patients who have a cardiovascular illness, weight issues, and high blood pressure. With wide support on platforms such as Apple and Android, it acts as a sense of delight for doctors to get efficient patient information for seamless integration with EHR. It includes tools such as Qardioarm (remote blood pressure monitor), Qardiocore (medical-grade ECG), and Qardiobase 2 (remote weight management), and so on.
III. Chronic Watch
It is a mobile-based chronic care management tool that comes as a software package (available on Android, desktop, and iOS) for offering personalized care plans for those patients suffering from two or more chronic illnesses via their remote locations. It offers virtual visits, data sharing, and multi-way communication facilities to both doctors and patients on their portals.
It is a one-stop solution offered by healthcare application development companies to health practitioners for easy and efficient monitoring of their patients remotely. It works comfortably on a cloud platform and smartphone apps. It comes with some exclusive features, such as simple billing through mobile payment monitoring devices and EHR integrations.
RPM Development Process
Like developing an app for a product, the RPM telehealth app is also a carefully planned procedure that follows various steps to ensure the best healthcare app solution to help organizations succeed in the best possible way.
A. The first Step Commence with Rapid Prototyping
If one wants to prepare to code for their apps, then they should be ready for spending a lump-sum amount. Instead of trying all sorts of things to create an app with untested features and interface, it will be better to create a well-planned prototype that will allow users to test it and also include necessary changes.
Since the prototype of the app works easily on one’s smartphone with the availability of the regular update, there is an assurance to the developers to meet the requirements of the users (patients and health professionals in the given case). In this way, the companies will be able to save a large amount of cost that otherwise would have been spent on app development.
B. Development of Web Application for Doctors (& other Health Professionals)
In the case of the healthcare sector, the web application designed for them must be capable of storing all the vital health-related data from the patients that can be used appropriately by health professionals. Furthermore, a notification is sent to them when patients have filled up all the logs related to their disease, so it will make it physicians easy to track them.
Thus, the creation of an easy healthcare web application will be beneficial for doctors to navigate their patients for a routine check-up from remote locations also.
C. Building Up of Mobile Application for Usage by Patients
In parallel with designing a web application, it’s another procedure of custom development also goes hand in hand. It is with no doubt an inseparable aspect because there should be a tight-knit integration that will hold them together successfully.
Moreover, the developers of the RPM apps must make their device UI/UX friendly not only for smartphones but also for tablets. In this way, the patient can get access to better healthcare updates and interaction with their doctors in the best possible manner.
D. Don’t Forget to Follow Security Guidelines
Not only developing but integrating security systems is also a must for the efficient working of RPM apps. Some standards are a must for the RPM solution and include:
- SOC2 Type2
Also, it is crucial for RPM apps to offer protected health updates (or information) with the following practices:
- Ensuring secure net connections that must start with HTTPS:
- The procedure of data encryption at synchronization and also at rest
- Implementation of 2-factor authentication security standards
D. Terminate App Development with Testing & Deploying to Production
After developing the RPA apps for both web and mobile, it is time to perform testing to identify and remove bugs. After the testing is done, deploy it to the production scenario at the app stores of different devices successfully.
The Last Thought
Hopefully, RPM apps will be the future that is long being suggested by health experts. They will be beneficial not only for doctors but also equally advantageous for medical researchers and patients. Therefore, the given concept will help in making the full switch to remote health monitoring after a pandemic a real one and that too successfully.