Remote patient monitoring (RPM) revolutionized the home care and senior living sectors. With the communications technology evolution, what was once a sci-fi wonder is now available to millions of seniors.

RPM not only improves the quality of help they get from caregivers but also increases their quality of living. Let’s talk about the history, current state, and the future of remote patient monitoring. 

Brief History of Remote Patient Monitoring

Some speculate that the history of remote patient monitoring started about a century and a half ago when doctors started using telephones to consult with each other.

However, it took that long for the tech to develop up to the point where remote patient monitoring became a real thing. In the late 1940s, two healthcare establishments in Pennsylvania started exchanging X-Ray images over telephone lines.

The breakthrough occurred in the early-1960s when RPM started playing a vital role in space exploration projects. In 1961, the first American astronaut Alan Shepard piloted the Freedom 7 mission accompanied by various sensors including a remote electrocardiogram and thermometer.

In the 1970s, several programs for remote monitoring of rural communities were developed. Since then, RPM began evolving at an increasing speed.

Current State of RPM Tech

Today, with universal access to broadband internet and the rise of AI and machine learning, remote patient monitoring became much more reliable and affordable. It is now widely used in home care and senior living.

Numerous RPM tools are available on the market, and their number is growing by the day as the Internet of Things (IoT) keeps developing. Here are some of the tools available today:

  • Monitoring devices that measure health parameters and send the results directly to the medical personnel
  • Wearables (such as watches) that check vitals in real-time
  • Activity sensors that report physical activity
  • Apps that help keep track of various conditions

These tools and apps not only provide information to caregivers and clinicians, but also help seniors by educating them and keeping them engaged and updated on their health status.

Another huge advantage of remote patient monitoring is information. Big data collected by RPM tools can be used to improve AI and machine learning tools. By using this data, AI assistants can analyze  medical indicators, recognize emergencies, and prioritize care delivery for medical staff.  

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic provided even more momentum for RPM growth. Remote monitoring helped the patients to minimize risks and gave relief to overburdened hospitals by reducing the number of admissions.

How Remote Patient Monitoring Will Evolve

In the next few years, the global remote patient monitoring market is projected to double and reach $62 billion by 2027. The main growth drivers named by analysts are:

  • Technological improvements
  • A greater focus on public health
  • More consumer awareness of the benefits of RPM
  • Lower prices

Another important factor that affects RPM growth is the staffing shortage. With more tasks performed remotely and automatically, less strain is put on personnel, and caregivers can do their job more efficiently with less effort.

With that in mind, the importance of AI will grow. Even now, by analyzing data, an AI assistant can come up with personalized solutions and advice. Further tech development only means that the role of such assistance will get more and more crucial.

New remote patient monitoring startups are appearing every day. One can only imagine what heights will the technology reach in the nearest future.

Remote patient monitoring will be the topic of a panel discussion and case study at the HCT Expo. Want to be a part of the RPM revolution? Join us in September!