Telehealth can be defined in a number of ways, but is most often thought of as a means of connecting health professionals to patients by way of virtual visits, phone calls, and patient portals. Since remote patient monitoring does not require scheduled visits, but rather automatically transmits patient data to clinicians, its place in the world of telehealth can seem a bit confusing. Telehealth can be thought of as the industry of virtual healthcare technology and methodologies. Remote patient monitoring (RPM), though not by definition a part of telehealth, is an integral part of the telehealth process. RPM provides data for telemedicine visits. Without RPM, a remote telemedicine appointment might just be a Facetime with your patient.
RPM works efficiently within telehealth by providing clinicians with a constant flow of patient data and by limiting patient and clinician contact to necessary scheduled visits based on the clinicians evaluation of the RPM feedback. RPM devices such as blood pressure monitors and blood glucose meters automatically transmit patient data to clinicians so that healthcare providers can monitor medicare patients on a regular basis. This process allows telehealth to cater to patients' unique situations so that they receive suitable medical attention at the right time. RPM also eliminates the need for patients to manually enter data or use some of the more complicated technology associated with telehealth. RPM may facilitate telehealth and vice versa, but they are not interchangeable. Where telehealth can be thought of as real-time communication between health care providers and patients, RPM is a more continuous form of communication that can negate the need for regularly scheduled visits. Learn how RPM can enhance your telemedicine practice.