In This Article

How it started

One of the few positive outcomes of the pandemic was the rapid adoption of remote care delivery. As the healthcare industry moves into the next phase of virtual care, many organizations are expanding their RPM footprint beyond its earliest use case of managing chronic disease populations. Out of necessity, providers incorporated remote monitoring for acute care to meet surges in demand during the pandemic. They quickly saw the value of leveraging device and self-reported data to not only multiply their clinical reach but capture continuous data points that proactive identify patient risk. Forward-thinking healthcare organizations now view RPM as a crucial component of integrated, holistic care to support patients as they transition from one care setting to another.   

Where it's headed

As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, innovation in remote care delivery will continue – as both patients and providers have seen the benefits of convenient, flexible care delivered closer to home. From standard medical devices like pulse oximeters to smartphone-based deviceless technologies, remote monitoring solutions are changing how patients receive effective and high-quality care. Some areas of growth we expect for remote patient monitoring include:

1. At-home diagnostics

Health systems will face significant competition from big tech and big retail disruptors who have the financial means to deploy omnichannel services that include at-home diagnostics. Amazon's foray into home medical tests includes their third-party marketplace for at-home diagnostic services. Consumers can order test kits for things like acute respiratory infections and sexually transmitted infections, and the tech giant has big expansion plans including genomics. Healthcare organizations will need to offer patients access to at-home diagnostics to stay relevant and competitive in the market.

2. Care transitions 

Many health systems leveraged remote monitoring during the pandemic to provide care following an ED visit, a hospital stay, or a surgery. This practice was initially driven by a supply and demand challenge due to limited in-person capacity; however, organizations saw improved patient and financial outcomes from these new models of care. Encouraged by these results, more and more organizations will strengthen and expand remote monitoring for post-acute care with devices and wearables – as well as with therapeutic devices such as smart infusion pumps.

3. Acute hospital care at home  

The number of health systems developing in-home hospital care models, such as CMS's Acute Hospital Care at Home, continues to climb. An essential piece of safely providing acute care inside the home is the ability to collect biometric data from devices to identify changes in a patient's condition. Caring for patients that aren't inside hospital walls requires an ability for care teams to escalate or adjust care early.  Insights gained from remote devices provide a data-rich model for proactive care that improves outcomes in the safety and comfort of a patient's home. Health systems will continue to make investments in remote patient monitoring programs as a critical component of their hospital at home strategy.

4. Emerging line of business  

Early adopters of RPM learned that virtual care and remote monitoring can deliver on chronic care at a distance. Allowing patients to receive services closer to home proved to be a competitive advantage for organizations seeking to stay relevant in their market.  Encouraged by the cost savings gained by these programs – particularly in value-based care climates, these health systems are now creating new lines of business and revenue by pivoting to new RPM use cases. We will see organizations invest in new virtual and remote care services including in-home dialysis, transplant care, telepharmacy and teleparamedics.

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