How Remote Patient Monitoring Can Help Your Practice
Post-visit care, medication adherence, response to treatment and optimum health outcomes have been the proverbial Gordian Knot of Mental Health. Technology has facilitated the undoing of this knot, and one of the ways to do so is Remote Patient Monitoring.
Remote Patient Monitoring allows Doctors and Patients to be connected post-consultation.
Any information that is key to the Patient’s Mental Health – their moods, medication adherence, response to treatment, etc. is monitored and delivered to the Doctor in real time. Adopting Remote Patient Monitoring translates into several advantages for the Patient as well as the Doctor.
Improved Operational Efficiency
In India, there is One Psychiatrist to cater to the Mental Health of 2 lakh people.
Every year, the number of people needing mental health care increases exponentially, but the number of doctors does not follow suit. Mental health care is sensitive and chronic, so while old Patients need continued monitoring, several new, potential Patients also need attention.
With Remote Patient Monitoring, Doctors can manage Patients much more effectively than the current set up allows.
Using Psychiatric scales allows tracking response to treatment, identifying potential co-morbid conditions, and helps the Doctor be prepared for any emergency situations.
When the need to check on these aspects of a Patient’s health in person is eliminated, the Patient doesn’t need to visit the Doctor repeatedly, unless the Doctor deems it necessary. The current set up does not allow a Doctor to track the Patient’s health in this manner, and there is no channel to communicate with Patients if necessary. With Remote Patient Monitoring, the Doctor’s schedule is cleared up to allow consultation for new patients, while at the same time providing continued care for existing ones.
Better Health Outcomes
Several studies have demonstrated a phenomenal increase in treatment outcomes and medication adherence and a fall in relapse when Remote Patient Monitoring was used. This is because Patients as well as their Caregivers feel more motivated upon seeing progress, and knowing that their health and well being is being monitored by a Doctor they trust is reassuring.
With minimal effort and eliminating the need to travel and wait in queues, Patients can continue their therapy for years with the same Doctor, and consult when necessary.
This helps avoid situations such as a relapsed patient, returning years after the first treatment, as a consequence of failure to adhere to treatment and the obstacles in receiving continued care. With Remote Patient Monitoring, Doctors can encourage their Patients to stick to their medication, and alter the treatment plan if necessary.
Better Revenue Generation
Remote Patient Monitoring allows two things – continued engagement of old Patients over the years as well as the opportunity to expand outreach and cater to the needs of more Patients. Both options translate to better revenue generation for the Doctor.
talkaDoc’s Remote Patient Monitoring
At talkaDoc, we’ve always involved users in every step of development. We’ve spoken to various Psychiatrists, their Patients and Caregivers, and assessed what the field needs so that all stakeholders reap the benefits.
Our first release in the Remote Patient Monitoring area was TeleHealth, allowing Patients to consult with Doctors virtually. This service has been widely adopted by Patients and Doctors alike.
Our next release will be Self-Assessment and Screening using Psychiatric Scales. We’ve carefully developed this tool, using standard clinical scales such as the CAGE questionnaire for Alcohol addiction and PHQ9 for depression with valuable inputs from Dr. Anurag Srivastava & Dr. Chaitanya Laxmi.
After this, we shall introduce simple ways for Doctors and Patients to track moods, well-being and medication adherence.
The Road Ahead
Adopting Remote Patient Monitoring will lay the foundation for the future of healthcare. Data Analysis will allow predictive medicine and artificial intelligence – applications will be able to tell Doctors the expected time for Patient recovery, possible side effects, etc. based on available Patient demographics. There is no limit to what technology can achieve in healthcare when applied appropriately.