Remote Patient Monitoring Devices - An Introduction

Ultimately, one of the most important parts of delivering successful RPM care is using a reliable monitoring device. Without a high-quality monitoring device, both specific patients and healthcare providers won’t be able to capitalize on everything that RPM has to offer.
David Medeiros
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For all of these reasons, it is worth taking the time to explore Remote patient monitoring (“RPM”) devices and what makes a great RPM device. Whether you are a healthcare professional who is thinking about incorporating RPM into your practice or are hearing about RPM devices for the first time, understanding what makes a great RPM device can help you accomplish your goals.

Not only can RPM reduce hospital visits and improve patient satisfaction, but it can save patients and healthcare professionals time and money. While it is difficult to predict the future, it is hard to see RPM not playing a larger role in America’s healthcare system.

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RPM Devices: A Primer

You can think of an RPM device as similar to a consumer wearable device (like your Apple Watch or Fitbit). The device has sensors and tracks certain physiological parameters. As it is tracking those defined parameters, the RPM device is wirelessly transmitting that data to a centralized repository. From there, doctors and other medical professionals can analyze the data and offer personalized care to the patient.

RPM devices are unlike other wearables (like the Apple Watch) in that they are often dedicated to one specific purpose. These purposes can run the gamut. For instance, they include things like glucose meters for patients with diabetes, remote infertility treatment and monitoring, blood pressure monitors, and much more. Essentially, if a sensor can track data that provides a granular look at a certain health condition or ailment, there is most likely an RPM device for that condition or ailment.


What Makes a Great RPM Device?

With that basic understanding of RPM devices behind us, let’s now explore what makes a great RPM device. Because RPM devices are so important for delivering the best possible care, it’s crucial to select an RPM device that meets certain important prerequisites.

One important characteristic of a great RPM device is whether it meets FDA standards. While all RPM devices need to comply with security and privacy regulations in HIPAA, not all RPM devices meet FDA standards. Per the FDA, an RPM device is technically considered to be a wireless medical device. The FDA has provided some helpful guidance on wireless medical devices as a whole and the FDA-recognized standards that are specifically related to wireless medical devices. 

Ultimately, purchasing an RPM device that meets FDA standards ensures quality control. You can be confident that your chosen RPM device can accurately gather patient data and deliver the best possible patient outcomes. Keep this in mind when you are evaluating different RPM devices.

Next, a great RPM device prioritizes ease of use. This is true for both patients and healthcare professionals. For patients, a great RPM device is one that is extremely easy to wear and isn’t overly burdensome. Not only that, but some of the best RPM devices offer comprehensive patient portals. Those patient portals, which are available 24/7, let patients easily view their medical data and let them communicate with their medical providers.


Ease of Use and CPT Reimbursement

As for healthcare professionals, great RPM devices are easy to set up and monitor. They fit securely on patients so that you can get a full and accurate picture of the condition you’re tracking. Along with this, great RPM devices quickly deliver data in an easy-to-understand format. While you and your colleagues may need to further interpret that data, the RPM device delivers granular data on the patient, which can help you deliver the best possible care.

From ease of use, a great RPM device measures the appropriate physiological parameters. To reiterate, RPM devices can measure a whole host of health conditions. Because of this, you will likely find an RPM device that seems to address the condition that you wish to measure. Still, you’ll want to confirm that the device itself captures the data that you want to capture. There may be circumstances where an RPM device may be marketed to address a specific ailment or condition, yet doesn’t capture specific data that you need to treat the condition.

Next, great RPM devices don’t trip up on the logistics; supporting tasks around patient measurement are completely seamless. For instance, the best RPM devices offer shipping and tracking. They also offer easy returns and cleaning. While these sorts of tasks may seem minor in the grand scheme of things, they make the RPM experience that much easier for patients and healthcare providers.

Finally, great RPM devices make it easy to obtain reimbursement. There are now several different CPT codes that allow for reimbursement of RPM. That being said, one key element for reimbursement is that the RPM device is considered to be a “medical device” per the FDA. While it doesn’t necessarily need to be FDA-approved, investing in an RPM device that is FDA-approved can give you more confidence that you will be reimbursed.


Finding Great RPM Devices

While RPM devices aren’t the only component of RPM care, they are arguably the most critical. An RPM device that contains the qualities mentioned above will deliver the best possible care. It will also make life easier for both patients and healthcare providers. Ultimately, we encourage you to keep these insights in mind when searching for your next RPM device.

To learn more about Accuhealth and RPM, access the resources below.

  1. How to Set Up Your Remote Patient Monitoring System
  2. The Complete Guide to Remote Patient Monitoring

If you are curious about CMS changes that may affect your practice, check this out.


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Meet the Author

Accuhealth is proud to feature content from industry-leading experts that contribute in-depth knowledge of Remote Patient Monitoring and Telehealth subject matter to our blog.

David Medeiros

David Medeiros

David Medeiros is a Remote Patient Monitoring expert with 10 years of clinical, telehealth and home care experience, specifically in Remote Patient Monitoring. With his team, David has been able to develop RPM/Telehealth from the early pilot years, to the industry leading juggernaut that Accuhealth is today.

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