By Jared Goldstein, COO, Wizecare.
Over the past few years, and specifically due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and medical industry had to rely on technology to help with patient access, diagnosis, and treatment. The huge successes of Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) enabled the expansion of Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) designed for physical and occupational therapists to collect patient physical data and measure adherence. With RTM technology providers can have a significant reach to patients beyond the walls of the medical facility, doctor’s office, or hospital.
The key differentiator between RTM platforms is whether the patients need to wear sensors and/or wearables or if the technology is so advanced that the technology can track the patients’ movements without wearables simply through a smart device or computer.
What is RTM and how does it work?
The innovation of Remote Therapeutic Monitoring came from allowing patients at health care practices to receive care and achieve optimal physical results from MSK (musculoskeletal) disorders while enabling the professionals to have direct observation of the patients beyond the walls of a medical facility. What differentiates RTM solutions, is how the technology works and if it can track the patient’s movement and provide feedback in real-time. Real-time is key to this equation as it allows the patient to know if they are doing the exercise correctly for optimal healing and results.
This type of therapy also allows therapists to monitor patients and screen for deterioration or improvements. Clinical study results have shown an improved outcome in 5 out of 6 patients and increased patient engagement rates by close to 80% with the use of technology that meets the criteria discussed above. Patients are more compliant in their treatments versus the normal industry rate. Many patients, specifically the elderly, those in rural communities, and the underserved are now able to get the prescribed program to address their MSK concerns, and from the comfort of their own homes.
The Benefits of RTM:
There are key benefits and advantages of using RTM, beyond the obvious of enabling at-home care. It allows patients to address MSK concerns and maximize overall patient well-being and physician success.
- RTM extends the overall health and wellness of a patient while being able to be monitored from afar.
- By being monitored from afar and having the ability to collect real-time data, there are better successes and outcomes through the overall rehabilitation process. This enables closer monitoring of a patient’s adherence to prescribed therapy and at the same time allows the practitioners to determine if a patient is following their care regimen and how effectively or ineffectively it’s working.
- Improvement of overall patient retention rate
- Lastly, providers can increase their revenue stream and continue this type of consistent care while hopefully also potentially lowering the rate of urgent care, ER visits, and hospitalizations.
What’s next in therapeutic healthcare technology:
As we continue to watch innovations in healthcare technology, we can expect to see the utilization of AI-backed technology in physical and occupational therapy to reach and care for more patients. Extending this outreach to rural areas as well as improving healthcare inequities. The future of virtual physical therapy is here, and the next step is to embrace the technology and recognize the significant benefits for the patients.