In the Comfort of Your Home: Discussing Remote Patient Monitoring

Medicine is now shifting focus on delivering continuous and preventative care that lessen the likelihood of those problems to pop up in the first place.

In the Comfort of Your Home

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a healthcare delivery method that utilizes technology to monitor patient health outside of a traditional clinical setting. Until recently, doctors could not collect data unless the patient went in for a physical visit. RPM enables physicians to analyze patients’ biometric data, such as heart rate and oxygen levels, in order to intervene when patients exhibit a decline in health. Patients should have access to RPM wearables that monitor their health discreetly so they can live their most normal life while being continuously monitored. RPM is all about acting now — rather than waiting until something medically dangerous happens, physicians and patients can create an intervention before it’s too late.

Driving Forces

As a continuous glucose monitoring manufacturer, Senseonics provides key products that will monitor diabetes patients more accurately and discreetly. Unlike other CGM manufacturers, Senseonics created the only 90-day lasting implantable sensor that sits comfortably under skin and remains secure during any activity. Physicians and patients have access via mobile app to keep track of real-time glucose measurements collected on the patient’s devices. Senseonics enables patients to monitor their diabetes that permits them to live comfortably and without disruption. Although RPM focuses on intervention to practice preventative care, Senseonics’ platform makes patients feel like nothing is intervening in their lives.

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Photo by Adam Miller on Unsplash

Ejenta uses AI technology to understand the users’ daily activities and detect abnormalities in order for clinicians to intervene through actionable data. With wearable and ambient sensors, this platform monitors and gathers real-time behavior data to help predict health deterioration and thereby enable preventative care. Monitoring users’ biometric data — like Ejenta’s monitoring of NASA astronauts — and intervening to prevent medical dangers in a way that does disrupt the user’s life is key to successful RPM.

Senseye uses a predictive maintenance algorithm to end unplanned machine downtime. Using available historical data or learning machine behavior in a two-week period, this platform has a 50% reduction in unplanned machine downtime and 85% increase in downtime forecasting accuracy. By collecting key data, such as abnormal vibrations and temperature fluctuations, Senseye generates machine behavior models that are utilized for continuous predictive maintenance efforts. RPM operates on the same wavelength as Senseye, as it collects data from patients, monitors their activities and abnormalities, and prevents health declines with intervention to help patients function and live their lives normally and uninterrupted.

Applying Design

Opportunities

  • Non-intrusive monitoring: Designers make it easier for patients to see a big picture of their diseases through data and informed communication with medical personnel, allowing them to focus more on enhancing their quality of life with family at home rather than in a hospital setting
  • Early Detection: Both physicians and patients can detect symptoms at an earlier stage through interface and service design, leading to better clinical decisions and reduced health costs, travel time and effort
  • Increased adherence: Allowing patients to see and relate to their data through an online platform will encourage patients to adhere to their medical regime

Dangers

  • Non-medical interpretation of data: While patients can gain more information on their conditions, a poorly designed RPM will leave patients unaware on how to interpret and understand their medical data
  • Overhead to stay up-to-date: Physicians must efficiently and effectively communicate the data to their patients in order to reap in the benefits of early symptom detection as a whole
  • Interruption of data collection: The failure of managing and creating a secure and uninterrupted flow of data between the patients and physicians will damage the management of efficiency and personalization

Opportunities

  • Easing operations: With the large amounts of data, information flow and communication between various medical teams will make operations more efficient rather than overwhelming through the work of designers.
  • Reduction in costs: When integrating data information and patient-clinician engagement, RPM can produce lower costs and improved care. Through the work of designers, the two can come together synergistically to achieve this positive outcome.

Dangers

  • Data security negligence: Data is poorly managed and becomes overwhelming enough to break the flow of medical operations and lead to increased risk of negligence
  • False signals in the raw data: Poor communication of data could put physicians at risk of negligence because the data could validate that indeed signs were missed and confirm both doctors’ and patients’ skepticism
  • Limited Accessibility: Cost and accessibility, specifically for older generations, rural areas, and lower income patients, could be detrimental, especially when adding these digital tools on an already expensive medical care

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