Remote Patient Monitoring, Digital Therapeutics
The Latest Digital Health Techs: A New Subsets of Medicine
Medicine manages a patient’s diagnosis, prognosis, prevention, and treatment. The changes in therapy to advance health passed through a myriad of changes. Sometimes a plant (herbalism), an animal part, or a mineral was the antidote. Interestingly, the materials were applied as magical substances through animism, spiritualism, and shamanism. In Ancient Greece, the father of Modern Medicine, Hippocrates, introduced the Hippocratic Oath for physicians, which is still pertinent and in use today.
Scientists believe that the average life expectancy was between 20-35 in Ancient Greece and Rome. The study of the human body, the definition of the virus, improved hygiene, antibiotics, modern medicine, and surgeries created the basis for better health conditions for our kind. In the last decades, between 1955 and 2015, these numbers extended from 69.7 years to 79.4. Many futurists claim that children born after 2020 will live more than 115 years with the forthcoming effects of revolutionary inventions in medicine.
The world we live in is becoming more and more digitised every day. Eventually, senior adults got used to using internet technologies in their daily lives, although some insisted on not integrating for a long time. Indeed, just like everything, digitalisation also has its pros and cons; however one thing is for sure, we are undergoing the most significant paradigm shift of all time.
The Covid-19 Pandemic was a game changer for most of us. After the first shock, we all started finding new answers to emerging problems. Because we couldn’t visit gyms as before, we began to watch online videos and follow them at home to remain in shape. Online courses increased because we all were eager to discover new things while stuck at home. For a long time, hospitals were not even accessible for nonmortal complaints. So, we had to change our path. And indeed, as a big part of our lives, medicine also took part in this drastic change.
Mental health is maybe the most neglected area in health. Still today, numerous people act reluctantly and refrain from taking therapies. In reality, our mental health enormously affects our physical health; unfortunately, today, we have to deal with higher stress levels than our predecessors. Taking some professional help helps us to remain in a balanced mood and reach a better version of ourselves.
Suppose you had your therapies once in two weeks with your psychologist before the Pandemic. It was a part of your routine and helped you to overcome the obstacles you had to face. The Pandemic created another block to accessing your regular seances. Frustrating.
Remote Patient Monitoring
During the Pandemic, many people found themselves in this situation. Therefore, many started using videoconferencing methods to continue during the Pandemic. However, they probably weren’t even aware of the concept of remote patient monitoring.
Once it became de facto, we started considering “What is remote patient monitoring?”. What is the difference between remote patient monitoring and telehealth? What do they cover, and what are their uses?
To begin with the term “telehealth”, one has to note that telehealth is an umbrella concept referring to all types of communication means, including but not limited to telephone, IVR, remote patient monitoring, and many others. We mostly encounter this term when we talk about the medical industry in general. Indeed, the term telehealth intersects with another familiar phrase, remote patient monitoring, since it is a broader term. We may see that people use them interchangeably if we talk on a wide scale.
But what is it that makes telehealth so attractive? Thanks to the high technology, we, patients, have the chance to be connected with clinicians, regardless of where we are. We may be at home or our offices. It doesn’t matter. We can use the technologies to gather information and share it with our doctors in cases of necessity, in any case. We may have our doctor visits from a distance; that is such freedom and a chance that our predecessors unfortunately lacked.
Telehealth services also create room for those who experience severe diseases like congestive heart failure. Since the gravity of the illness is remarkable, a remote patient monitoring system for congestive heart failure is closer to a necessity than a luxury.
As we all know, a healthy weight condition is essential in preventing or treating many sicknesses. It becomes even more critical when discussing cardiovascular diseases like congestive heart failure or diseases like type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and obesity. Therefore, tools for remote patient monitoring weight scales are designed and are currently being used by many doctors to follow any changes in their patients’ bodies even though they are not at the clinic. See the benefit? We may feel more secure than ever. Our doctors’ hands may not be visible to our eyes, but we can feel their presence using these high-tech systems.
In every area of life, we need the motivation to proceed; for this, we all need the support of others since we are social animals. The telehealth industry and remote patient monitoring systems, in particular, enable us to be supported, observed and cared for by clinicians without being detached from life. Any data gathered by telehealth systems can be exchanged with clinicians, and it is not limited to one expert! There is a massive team behind the scene!
The other side of the medallion shows another excellent progress for society. These services simultaneously decrease the percentage of hospitalisations and accelerate the recovery of patients. Additionally, the continuous follow-up of the patient’s data provides an exquisite information resource for enhancing medical treatment. There is nothing more precious than actual data. The perpetual flow of accurate data in real-time is the pole star for professionals like clinicians, medical researchers, and IT experts. By evaluating those data, they discover better methods and options that will bring us a brighter future.
What is Digital Therapeutics?
Another subset of digital health technology is digital therapeutics. There are tailor-made treatments to follow up on the improvements in patient behaviour. Through mobile applications or other prearranged digital channels, they momentarily transfer data on lifestyle changes and clinical conditions to a data pool and then professional specialists.
Digital therapeutics takes the methodology as a pillar, accumulated data is collected as a preventative measure, and all the progress report is recorded. The system can analyse multiple health issues such as maternal-child health, diabetes, hypertension, brain health, cancer, substance addiction, anxiety, depression, and many more to shape the most functional cure through the data pool.
It is not a secret that health systems are inefficient in many countries. The absence of proper healthcare delivery, elevated costs, and location-related problems are urgent points many governments fail at nowadays. However, Digital therapeutics can monitor pre-and post-treatment stages, reminders for medication, and improvements closely.
Moreover, besides better self-management, it is possible to apply music therapies, meditation, mindfulness, and other supportive cures to the patients. Therefore, the system is also valuable for following the proven non-drug alternatives. The data conveyed in statistics and analyses are priceless for the future of medicine. Undoubtedly, thanks to the latest technologies, medical science will have long jumps and the illnesses impairing quality of life will take their places on the dusty shelves.
All in all, the advantages of remote patient monitoring and digital therapeutics are abundant. By connecting in real time, patients can experience a broader and more efficient care network. Giving patients more trust, control and better access to healthcare, right from their own devices and on their schedule, will take the sting out of the governments. Instead of long queues waiting to talk to a physician in suffocating corridors, it can solve the issues from a distance. This is a relief for both health care professionals and patients.
Furthermore, no matter how experienced a doctor is, misreads and mistaken dose adjustments may occur during an appointment. However, these errors will be detected automatically in remote patient monitoring programmes, and it will send notifications to related links. Plus, limitless communication among professionals can lead to brainstorming in rare cases or the early identification of pandemics. In other words, the data pool can be a life saviour in many ways.
Humankind has achieved and continues to gain significant innovations for good over centuries. We hold the cure for the diseases killing massive numbers of people just a decade ago. Who can guess the following steps in the upcoming 50 years? Fingers crossed for the maladies our beloved ones have, and we are struggling today!