Written by: Maliha Safiullah

Maliha Safiullah is a Former Correspondent for 60 Minutes, Channel Nine Australia and is a published writer having worked as a Feature Writer for Dawn News.

Remote Patient Monitoring is reforming healthcare by utilizing ground-breaking technologies that perform real-time diagnoses supported by machine learning to wearables that collect and transmit patient data from a distance. The remote patient monitoring devices are designed to monitor patient health outside the traditional medical facility settings by using specific technology to electronically collect and transmit data between patients and physicians.

Globally, health systems and hospitals are availing the benefits of RPM technology for better quality of care for patients, improved outcomes and reduced costs. This enables healthcare that extends the influence of medical practitioners, allowing a continuous link between caregivers and patients while also providing a constant flow of real-time health data.

As technology has progressed, remote patient monitoring devices are smarter and more affordable providing an opportunity to remote patient monitoring companies and device manufacturers to pursue unexplored revenue channels by offering services to consumers that were earlier targeted to only medical facilities. The purpose of this is to not only monitor and treat a prevailing illness but to maintain good health and be informed about one’s health and wellness while also reducing hospitalization and related medical expenditures. Advancement in RPM technology has facilitated a change by advertently moving from contemporary medicine treatments to being utilized for prevention and primary care.

With providers switching to RPM technology for better quality of care, improved results and reduction of costs, the remote patient monitoring devices in healthcare are becoming smarter and accessible; here are the top 5 devices to look out for in 2020:

Top Categories of Remote Patient Monitoring Devices:

  1. AI Powered Wearable Devices

With rigorous increase in the severity of diseases the world over, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is radically becoming integral to healthcare. AI is the technological solution to identifying abnormalities in patterns, detect and dodge scams and, after analysis, predict an alarming situation based on the data available and previously recognized traits.

The AI algorithms designed and customized on a wearable device help to identify and solve a pertaining problem and hence assist patients in having better access and control of their own health. The device is equipped with software that records health data and provides predictive outcomes and includes speedy assistance for minor ailments.

LocateMotion’s AI Powered Health Intelligence Platform ingests health data from multiple existing sources and has a predictive model that helps protect a patient’s wellness by identifying risk propensity. It is technologically superior since it encompasses a personal emergency response system designed with medical alert systems with fall detection and GPS for active older adults who may be prone to falls or wandering.

This advanced technology can operate a complex system, modify/adapt a solution, and also assist with data collection, analytics and best remote care management plans. For older adults or high-risk patients, these type of AI powered wearable devices provide constant monitoring of core vitals and hence the opportunity to intervene faster than any other RPM platform available in case of an emergency.

RPM AI-powered wearable device is certainly a technology advancement to watch out for in 2020.

  1. Micro-Sampling Devices

With the COVID-19 pandemic situation and social isolation becoming a norm for most around the world, technological advancement in testing and collecting samples is another most anticipated service for healthcare systems.

The design of a micro-sampling device makes it easy to collect biological fluid samples without the need of complex lap equipment or comprehensive training. The purpose of a micro-sampling device is to effortlessly collect, transport and analyze blood and urine samples to generate accurate data for medical analysis by a physician. The device works by drawing fluid from a patient from his/her home through tubes and be able to store it till it is transferred to the necessary medical staff.

For chronically ill patients or those restricted to their homes because of a lack of mobility or older age, can use this form of technology by being in the comfort of their homes and not be spending an entire stressful day at a clinic just to get a test done.

  1. Glucose Monitoring Device

Traditionally, glucose monitoring tests require a finger prick that draws blood and then provides a result when the sample is dropped on the device. Consistent monitoring for diabetic patients throughout the day becomes a hassle and the data often goes unrecorded. Since diabetes affects a multitude of people, continuous glucose monitoring is usually a practice suggested by most practitioners.

Technological advancement has resulted in manufacturing companies designing sensor chips that once inserted under the skin can continuously monitor blood sugar levels throughout the day. A person suffering from diabetes may use this device to have better understanding of their sugar patterns and with the provided insight they can manage their meals and routine in order to live a more proactive life.

  1. Affordable Surgical Robots

Robotic surgical equipment has been available but too expensive for most healthcare facilities to utilize unless absolutely necessary during certain difficult surgeries.  However, for precise surgical practices, manufacturing companies have designed automated robots to assist surgeons during surgeries by performing tasks like holding a magnifying glass, holding a camera or lights.

As technology progresses, affordable surgical robots are being manufactured to perform procedures in place of human surgeons. Since the cost of surgical robots has been rather steep in the past, companies are now looking at economical versions of robots so health organizations can employ their services. The purpose of creating a surgical robot is to diminish the human error in surgeries and to assist in time where a surgeon might hit a difficult spot.

  1. Remote Heart Monitoring Devices

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a leading cause of death in many countries and due to the occurrence of CHF related issues in many people it is imperative explore ways that would assist in the daily monitoring, prevention and treatment of heart disease.

This has led many manufacturing companies to work on devices that monitor heart diseases. The technology functions by using medical sensors on multiple devices – mobile cardiac telemetry devices, mobile personal digital assistant systems, ambulatory wireless EEG recorders, and ambulatory event monitors. They are enabled to accumulate and record accurate remote monitoring of cardiac function while using a patient’s heart sounds and electrocardiogram (ECG). These devices are designed to provide precise monitoring along with other biometric data for home cardiac patients.

Other cardiac monitoring devices include smart measurement tools like a smart blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeters, pulse monitor and smart scale. These collect and assess vitals and the most recent data points are gathered into a dashboard display. The data once stored can be accessed by a caregiver or a physician to comprehend the condition of a heart patient and provide treatment accordingly.

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