A recent webinar sponsored by AVIA Health and Seamless MD examined how health systems are utilizing remote patient monitoring beyond the usual chronic condition applications. The discussion covered applications for surgical prep and recovery, women’s health, and more.
Although the Covid-19 pandemic served as a milestone for scaling digital health tools, new remote patient monitoring (RPM) applications have been under development for some time in response to consumer demand, the need to reduce costs by reducing hospitalization time, regulatory changes, and maturing technology.
The panelists for the webinar include Dr. Joshua Liu, CEO and co-founder of Seamless MD as well as AVIA Health staff — Ontara Sarker, Manager, Center for Care Transformation, and Diya Vuthandem, Senior Analyst, Center for Care Transformation.
Sarker noted in her opening presentation that fragmentation in healthcare places health systems in a vulnerable position. Citing data from a McKinsey report, she noted that $265 billion is expected to shift from traditional settings (i.e. hospitals) to alternative providers such as retail health, ambulatory surgical centers, digital therapeutics, the hospital at home, and more.
“The reality is payers and employers are carving up the healthcare landscape,” Sarker said. “Disruptors are going straight to the consumer and incumbent health systems risk being just another option to receive care. More often than not, they’re the option that’s less convenient and more expensive. This fragmentation in the market that we’re seeing is really risky for healthcare incumbents. Disruptors are wedging their options between providers and patients.
“Hospitals need to increase convenience and choice to boost patient satisfaction. For low acuity patients and preventive care, hospitals need to increase provider bandwidth for seamless care transitions to help cut specialty care wait times,” she added. “They also need to improve care team efficiency to overcome capacity constraints. Hospitals also need to enhance care for patients with more complex conditions by enticing new service offerings and more value-based contracts.”
Sarker highlighted AVIA’s framework for hospitals calling for ramping up RPM adoption.
As part of the discussion, panelists acknowledged that the need to rapidly scale telehealth and RPM during the pandemic has forever changed the way we think of digital health and the capacity of hospitals to rapidly adopt and implement technology. It also proved to be more widely accepted by he public than initially anticipated. From Liu’s perspective, the pandemic also changed how hospitals should assess and implement new technology
Liu noted that many of the health concerns that spur emergency room visits such as low pain (not chest-related) could be easily triaged and addressed with better educational tools for patients to review, answering some of the questions that cause stress and worry.
A health education platform could also provide more consistent guidance for patients to prepare for surgery, such as when do they need to stop drinking water and other liquids before surgery. The tech platform can be a single source of truth because the information provided through this kind of interface tends to be more consistent than information provided by different doctors and nurses. Liu added that research has shown that patients are more inclined to share more personal health data with an app than they would when speaking with a clinician.
The conversation also touched on how different hospitals are providing RPM, CPT codes they use, and how hospitals are using RPM to reduce costs and improve capacity since the public health emergency ended.
To access a recording of the webinar, please fill in the form below:
Photo: Maria Symchych-Navrotska, Getty Images