Contains the full lesson along with a supporting toolkit, including teachers’ notes.
The rapid growth in communications technology has made remote patient monitoring (RPM) much easier to implement. Sensors on the patient’s body can measure variables such as temperature and heart rate. The sensors can be linked to a portable processing device or to a mobile phone and the readings transmitted via WiFi or a mobile phone network to a remote server in a hospital or monitoring centre. The server stores the readings and can alert medical personnel when unexpected readings are obtained.
In this way patients who do not need constant medical care can be monitored in their own home. This frees up hospital beds and decreases the overall healthcare costs. However, despite all that can be done, the implementation of RPM is still in its infancy.
Patients with chronic conditions
The quality of life of patients with long term or chronic conditions is generally much greater if they can stay in their own home rather than in hospital. They maintain contact more easily with family and friends and have a greater degree of freedom. With the benefi t of RPM (remote patient monitoring) it is possible to quickly advise the patient or family members on what action to take if a problem arises. So, rather than the delay and inconvenience involved in getting to A&E (Accident and Emergency) and waiting in line for attention, normality can be restored in an effective and timely manner. Even if hospitalisation is required, the earlier action is likely to reduce the length of stay and to speed recovery.
Another benefit of RPM is that patients learn to anticipate problems and take preventive measures. This gives them more control of their situation, while knowing that help and advice are on hand when needed.
What does RPM involve?
For RPM to become a reality the following are required:
There also needs to be a clear benefi t in terms of improved patient care without excessive cost and preferably with no extra cost.