Difference Between Telehealth & Remote Patient Monitoring

Telehealth and remote patient monitoring are often mentioned in conjunction. This article will shed some light on the many differences (and similarities) between the two technologies. 
David Medeiros
Published by:
9 minute read

Share this Post:

How Remote Patient Monitoring is Used 

In order to understand the differences between remote patient monitoring (or RPM) and telehealth, we first need to define RPM, how it’s used, and what tools come into play. At its core RPM is the act of recording health and medical data to be shared with a healthcare provider. The beauty of RPM is that critical information such as patient vitals can be digitally transmitted from one location to the next. 

This technology can be used in a wide variety of ways such as treating patients in need of diabetes management (more on that later), prenatal care, hypertension monitoring, weight management and asthma.

A Critical RPM Component 

Remote patient monitoring is unsuccessful without the tools to make it possible. As opposed to telehealth, which can be done over a personal device such as a computer or smartphone, remote patient monitoring requires a couple extra steps. This includes a RPM device. 

There are many different devices used for remote patient monitoring including (but not limited to): 

  • Blood Pressure Monitors

  • Glucose Meters

  • Weight Scales

  • Spirometers 

  • Resting Pulse Monitor

  • Sleep Monitor 

Remote patient moniroting devices

Remote patient monitoring services also allow patients to automatically report readings and manage their conditions in more consistent, easier ways. This lets patients enter health readings easily from their own homes and then transmits this data to teams of clinical professionals who assess them on a constant basis. 

What is Telehealth? 

Now that the basic parameters of remote patient monitoring are outlined, we can move on to telehealth.​​ The basic definition of telehealth is the process of providing care in a remote setting through the use of video communications software and the internet. Telehealth also refers to the collection of patient metrics, including blood pressure, heart rate, weight, and blood glucose, from the patient’s home, or any location that is remote to a physical clinic. 

With this technology, a patient can use any device to log into software provided by their doctor. This enables patients to enjoy the same quality of care they’re accustomed to in the comfort of their home. 

Virtual care is more prevalent than ever. Through telehealth, patients can be seen without needing to schedule an in-person visit with their provider. In many cases, this results in faster appointments and lower wait times. It may also potentially ease the ever-growing burnout crisis many healthcare workers are facing. 

Better Together

We mentioned earlier that telehealth and RPM are often confused. This might be because telehealth and remote patient monitoring have a very close relationship. 

Here’s a helpful summary to understand their relationship: 

  • Telehealth visits can be conducted independently, without remote patient monitoring. 
  • On the other hand, remote patient monitoring devices can’t be used effectively without telehealth. 

Making Adoption Easier

Implementing a remote patient monitoring program can feel daunting, especially if budgets are tight. An advantage that some telehealth and RPM organizations have that helps lessen the barrier to entry is bundling multiple systems in one. This helps to scale by minimizing upfront costs, training times for HCPs and more. Accuhealth has a proprietary HIPAA-compliant SOC2-certified platform called Evelyn. Evelyn is a web-based solution in which providers and their clinical team members can log in to see all their patients’ RPM data, monitor compliance, see and add clinical notes, review billing data, and more.

Many vendors do not have a fully-integrated HIPAA-compliant software solution that connects devices to clinicians.

It’s also critical to work with a provider whose services can easily integrate with EHR systems and are designed to actually support the growth of practices instead of adding complicated and unnecessary layers. Accuhealth has created platforms and services that directly anticipate, support, and even encourage the growth of RPM programs over time.

Accuhealth’s full-service, turnkey RPM solutions reduce common roadblocks faced by clinics using other providers, and include features that optimize scalability potential. Accuhealth’s platforms can sustain over 1500 patients per week, a capacity higher than most clinical referral abilities. Accuhealth also assumes all upfront costs, which further reduces barriers to scalability.

RPM devices allow Telehealth programs to act as truly effective extensions of clinics and practices, in ways that keep patients safer, and doctors more in control. Both technologies have also accelerated the consumerization of care by making appointment processes more transparent, easier, and convenient. An empowered patient is a patient that is more likely to adhere to care plans and actively participate in their overall health. 

Planning for the Future 

Here are some current treatments made better by telehealth and RPM:

  • Diabetes Management with Telehealth

  • Prenatal Care

  • Hypertension & Remote Patient Monitoring

  • Weight Management Through Telehealth Services

  • Monitor Asthma with the Help of Telehealth

It’s unlikely that treatment will stop here, and although the COVID-19 pandemic has been reduced, long term chronic conditions are already being studied and proposed by experts. For example, cardiovascular disease and risk factors may be linked to COVID-19 severity and mortality, and the virus itself may have exacerbated certain symptoms in people with cardiovascular disease. The precise relationship between the two still requires more research, but evidence already indicates that at a minimum, we are seeing an increase in heart disease. Because RPM helps providers treat and better care for more patients, technology like Accuhealth may be able to lessen the burden of these negative outcomes. 

This is also why early adoption of telehealth and RPM is an overall more cost effective solution as opposed to waiting for both to become expected as a common practice. 

In Summary 

Telehealth and remote patient monitoring have important differences, and both have so much to offer combined. The best part of this relationship is that telehealth can easily lead into remote patient monitoring, making integration and implementation easier to learn and more cost effective. With Accuhealth’s RPM services, the average clinic sees a 15% to 25% increase in appointment volume. In addition to this, Accuhealth clients experience enormously increased profit margins; gaining 100% more revenue per patient per year on average.

In fact, many providers like Accuhealth have designed their services and platform in ways that not only allow for growth, but actually encourage it. This is done through several key features such as:

  • Effective integration of RPM services into a clinic’s existing Electronic Medical Record system, which automates referrals and other provision functionalities in ways that make growth effortless.
  • Embedding simplicity and navigability in Accuhealth’s platform actively promotes engagement, which creates ease when it comes to extending remote clinical activities to higher volumes of patients, which in turn increases revenue.

Telehealth providers who assume the upfront costs of RPM implementation also further enable clinics to scale their programs and see instant, revenue-generating results. Accuhealth’s RPM solutions include no upfront costs for this very reason, in order to make remote monitoring implementation more realistic for clinics across the country.

Ready to learn more?

Book a meeting to discuss how Remote Patient Monitoring can benefit your patients and practice.  Accuhealth is the only turn-key remote patient monitoring system that can integrate seamlessly into your EHR and processes.

Filed under:

Related Posts

Start swiping below to see related posts.

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.

Ready to Setup Your Clinic?

Just click the link below to talk to a member of our sales team or to learn more about our Remote Patient Monitoring solution and get your clinic setup in under 24 hours.

Schedule a Demo Schedule a Demo