Visiting the doctor is not everyone’s favorite thing to do. Research suggests that a lot of ailments could have been prevented if only the patient was able to go to the clinic at least a few days sooner. This is the reason why remote monitoring systems are starting to gain ground in the healthcare industry. Tech-savvy specialists in hospitals are trying their best to implement the latest remote monitoring systems for the patients but this is not in any way an isolated development. The technological revolution has long begun when it comes to remote monitoring systems for healthcare. Wearable devices such as those that track vital information like heart-rate and sugar levels are now available to the consumer market. Even simpler everyday tasks like fitness monitoring through calorie intake and burned monitors have become quite prevalent. This is why it is no surprise that remote monitoring systems are being implemented for more complex issues like chronic diseases.
Studies have confirmed the rise of patient cases wherein there is a need for constant monitoring. The reason for this can come from several reasons. Though there is a hefty price to pay to have a remote monitoring system installed on a patient or the patient’s house, it is still significantly less than to stay in a hospital bed for the entirety of a treatment. While some people can afford to have an in-house nurse, this is certainly not the case for the majority of the population.
The question still remains, however, are humans now more trusting of machines to govern their own health of all things. The mindset of the general populace is not yet completely made up for this. It is not until only a few years ago when people would shun laser eye surgeries due to the fear of the accuracy and precision of mindless devices. But now, people have come to a realization of how much better it is to let a computer-controlled machine handle the bulk of surgical operations. The aim of remote monitoring system in healthcare are several folds. It aims to increase the number of patients covered by medical guidance without actual interaction with nurses or doctors. And, it also aims to reduce the cost of having one’s health constantly monitored.
In this article, we are going to look at the benefits and possible downfalls of the remote monitoring system in healthcare.
Pro: Real-Time Data from Remote Monitoring Systems
The most obvious benefit of having a remote monitoring system is the ability to perform tests remotely without human intervention. Through the power of mobile technology, test results can be sent from the patient’s device to the hospitable database in real-time. This means that the attending physician can react faster without having to schedule a doctor’s appointment and without waiting for the patient to come to the hospital by his or her own free will.
This benefit is more felt with patients that have to deal with long term issues. Normally, people diagnosed with conditions requiring constant attention will have to go visit the hospital as often as needed. This is a tedious process and most of the time would interfere with the personal life of the patient. Having a remote monitoring system would change this dynamic and allow the patient more freedom to execute his or her daily life.
Communication of patients with their doctors, apart from devices that can constantly monitor vitals, is an important aspect in remote monitoring systems for healthcare. It is necessary to have a quick and easy channel between the two to make sure that events that need action will be relayed as soon as possible. This could include doctor initiated communication such as warning them of a possible experience they may endure during a spike in their vitals or it could be patient-initiated such as in cases where the patient wishes to notify the doctor of a symptom they are experiencing.
Con: Remote Monitoring Systems is Not Yet Accessible to Everyone
While communication systems are constantly improving, there are still a few blind spots even in the most technologically advanced countries. Rural areas, in particular, may have trouble having the kind of connectivity required for a real-time remote monitoring system. Given that the patient’s health is on the line, nothing short of the best network speed and reliability is necessary.
Another aspect that disallows accessibility to remote monitoring systems for healthcare is the technology gap that often presents itself to elderly people. Today’s generation is able to handle smartphones and other similar devices on a daily basis. This is not true for older people however and thus remote monitoring system for healthcare may pose a challenge in implementing when it comes to the technologically challenged.
Pro: Remote Monitoring Systems for Health Improves the Patient’s Lifestyle
One of the things that a patient with a chronic medical condition has to deal with is needing to visit his or her doctor on a regular basis. Some are lucky enough to only need to see the doctor every other month, or every month, but some have to go to the clinic every week, or even every day. Chronically ill patients will have to spend some time away from their family, friends, and career to manage their sickness. Having a remote monitoring system can reduce this problem by limiting the time that a patient has to go to the clinic instead of simply living his or her life.
Con: Remote Monitoring Systems are Still Met With Skepticism
A positive attitude can do wonders to a recovering patient. In building the proper mindset a lot of things have to come together and one of them is gaining the trust of the system that the medical system that the patient is surrounded with. This will, of course, include the doctors, nurses, and staff that takes care of the patient. When implementing a remote monitoring system, you lose this personal touch and are left with a technology that may still not have the complete confidence of the general population.