Remote patient monitoring in cardio-diabetes an innovative technology for better disease management

M. Wasim Ghori

Lifestyle disorders such as diabetes and heart disease require regular monitoring of important health parameters and frequent follow-ups with the doctors. The self-monitoring of vitals, such as blood pressure, blood sugar and weight monitoring has become more comfortable with the development of digital devices. However, it is difficult for a health care provider to do reasoning of changes in these parameters just looking at the data that is presented at the follow-up visit, which may happen at a frequency of a couple of weeks to a month. This problem is more prominent in countries like India, where the proportion of doctors per number of patients is much lower. An innovative concept called remote patient monitoring can help us to bridge this gap in patient care. Let’s understand what remote patient monitoring is and how it works. What is Remote Patient Monitoring? Remote patient monitoring literally means watching or helping a patient from a distance! We have been using remote service in day-to-life for quite some time now. For instance, banking! You can get your work done using the internet without having to visit the bank in person. In the same way, in remote patient monitoring, the patient uses web-enabled digital devices to track vitals and the doctor gets to analyse data by logging into an App in real-time. Remote Patient Monitoring is also known as Telehealth or Telemonitoring and seems like a promising tool in the management of health conditions that require constant monitoring. How does Remote Patient Monitoring work? For remote patient monitoring to work efficiently, the doctor and patient must work together at an initial stage. At first few visits to the clinic; the doctor examines the patient and decides the frequency and type of health parameters that needs to be watched continuously. In the management of diabetes and heart disease, a patient needs to regularly track vitals such as blood pressure, blood sugar, weight and need to adhere to the given medication schedule. Of course, all of these using digital devices! The data is then saved into a unique application (App) manually or automatically using Bluetooth connection on the digital devices. Most Apps for remote patient monitoring prefer using cloud-connected devices to take reading for vital parameters from which the data can be transferred automatically to the App. A doctor can log in to the App and track daily reading and progress from the patient.