Driving Better Patient Adherence and Outcomes through AI-enabled Remote Patient Monitoring
By Janet Dillione, CEO of Connect America
COVID-19 created a new digital reality for healthcare, accelerating trends that had been years in the making, such as the adoption of telehealth and advances in vaccine therapies.
Among the less-publicized changes in the wake of the pandemic is the evolution in patient preferences toward at-home care, diverging away from hospitals and hospital-related sites of care. For example, a survey and report from consulting firm BCG revealed that 60% of patients are willing to transition from hospital-level care, 52% are willing to transition from hospital-associated clinics, and 32% are willing to go to whatever site their physician recommends for care.
These shifting patient attitudes have not gone unnoticed by providers. Almost 30% of providers reported that the use of remote patient monitoring (RPM) for patients is a common practice today, compared with only 12% who said it was prevalent before the pandemic. Additionally, 75% of providers believe that the use of RPM will accelerate over the next two to three years, according to BCG.
RPM is a healthcare delivery method that uses digital technologies to remotely monitor and analyze patient vitals and other health data outside of a traditional healthcare setting. RPM technology securely transmits health information between patients and providers to enable more informed clinical decision-making, quicker interventions, greater adherence to treatment, and ultimately better patient outcomes. This type of monitoring is often used to help manage care for patients with chronic or acute health illnesses or conditions.
One challenge standing in the way of more widespread RPM adoption is patient adherence. Many patients lack the support, education, and training necessary to utilize RPM effectively, and most practices simply do not have the available time or staff to provide the required level of support that would make an RPM program successful.
This, however, is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) shines. AI-enabled RPM allows healthcare providers to remotely manage their patient’s chronic conditions while proactively supporting practices with patient outreach, engagement, and education to ensure patients stay compliant.
3 ways AI-enabled RPM improves care
D-19 endemic and rising rates of chronic disease, the ability to monitor and care for at-risk patients safely and effectively in their homes may be just what the doctor ordered. Following are three ways that AI-enabled RPM improves patient care:
- Boosting clinical efficiency: AI-enabled RPM helps increase patient adherence and drive clinical efficiency through proactively supporting practices with patient outreach, engagement, and education. For example, a virtual health assistant serves as a member of the practice by automatically sending text messages and reminders to patients, resulting in more patient readings and more meaningful and accurate data for the provider. In fact, practices see up to 36% higher patient adherence with AI-enabled RPM. With more accurate, up-to-date information, providers can appropriately calibrate patients’ care plans in response to their specific needs.
- Fostering better outcomes: Patients with chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart failure, diabetes, and obesity often require daily adherence to medication, exercise, and nutrition care plans. By utilizing AI-enabled RPM, providers can collect and analyze patients’ daily vitals while receiving actionable information to triage and treat patients faster. Consequently, providers gain the ability to see health trends over time and in-between visits, which results in earlier interventions and better outcomes.
In this regard, AI-enabled RPM presents the healthcare system with a worthwhile opportunity to evolve from reactive treatment toward evidence-based preventive care.
- Lowering costs: By supporting more timely, proactive care delivery and earlier detection of clinical deterioration, RPM technology enables quicker interventions that reduce the need for emergency department visits and inpatient utilization.
For example, a recent cost-utility analysis published in the Journal of American Medicine Association (JAMA) highlighted promising research suggesting that remote monitoring could potentially be associated with 87% fewer hospitalizations, 77% fewer deaths, and reduced per-patient costs of $11,472 over standard care and gains of 0.013 quality-adjusted life-years.
Given clear patient preferences, there can be little doubt that the future of healthcare will consist of much more at-home care delivery – regardless of how COVID-19 plays out. RPM technology – thanks to its ability to utilize AI to increase clinical efficiency, improve outcomes, and lower costs – will undoubtedly play a significant role in making at-home care a reality for an increasing number of Americans.
About the Author
Janet Dillione is Connect America’s CEO, with experience building innovative strategies and strong teams that enable change and transform healthcare delivery. Throughout her career, she has been focused on leading important developments in healthcare technology by solving long-standing issues in the delivery of care.