Health systems across the globe are faced with a rising population with chronic conditions, clinician shortages, resource constraints, and threats to security. At the same time, many are on the cusp of incorporating groundbreaking innovations like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and predictive analytics – all with the potential to dramatically change the way healthcare is delivered.
It is an interesting paradox – and an opportunity.
Today’s high-acuity and low-acuity settings place a high priority on giving caregivers timely, accurate information. In order to create workflow solutions that prevent undesirable outcomes, clinical variation, and unnecessary expense, they want to move beyond siloed workstation thinking. Patient data is expanding exponentially. Due to the possibility of current complex networking systems becoming outdated and unable to communicate with one another, as well as the possibility that technical staff may not have visibility into the status of their devices – risking downtime and disruptive breaches – organizations are urgently looking for strategies to filter this information.
A powerful patient-monitoring solution has the capacity to confront all this. At its most basic, a patient-monitoring system is designed to acquire patient data, aggregate it, and display it in a format that is meaningful and actionable. It can capture a steady stream of patient data from monitors and other medical devices, then feed it securely to an electronic medical record for virtually gap-free patient records from admission to discharge – even during transport.
Patient-monitoring solutions can also deliver vital signs, waveforms and alarms directly to caregivers on the move throughout the hospital and provide clinical decision support tools and advanced algorithms to help identify patient deterioration early. It can foster communication between networks and allow IT and biomed staff to remotely access the system to quickly diagnose issues, update software, and manage inventory and performance. And it can all be presented with intuitive user interfaces that look and feel more like consumer electronic devices.
Healthcare leaders must develop new ways to tackle complex, systemic problems while harnessing the promise of a new digital age.
As wearables, telehealth, and patient engagement gain traction, the patient-monitoring market is expected to be worth more than USD 350 billion by 2025. Greater availability of integrated monitoring technologies, such as smartphones and wireless devices, is a key industry trend supporting the growth of the market, resulting in the introduction of remote monitoring systems, mobile cardiac telemetry devices, mobile personal digital assistant (PDA) systems, ambulatory wireless EEG recorders, and ambulatory event monitors. Some of the recent advances expected to impact the global patient-monitoring market include:
RPM. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is the latest advancement of healthcare delivery that uses information technology to gather patient data outside of healthcare settings or hospitals. There are many benefits of remote patient monitoring (RPM) for clinicians including ease of access to patient data and the ability to offer higher-quality care to more patients with a lower amount of risk.
Mobile-enabled remote patient monitoring is gaining a huge attention from physicians, and is expected to acquire a major share in coming years, as they are now implementing mobile-enabled remote patient monitoring (mRPM), a technology which is more efficient and cost effective compared to standard telephonic RPM. Most importantly, mRPM does not require the patient to learn a new device specifications or specialized equipment because smartphones and mobile devices are already used on a large basis. The primary goals of an mRPM plan are relevant patient-reported data capture and revenue generation, and it yields enhanced patient engagement.
Healthcare big data. Big data is already posing a positive impact on the healthcare industry in the fields of oncology, neurology, cardiology, and other specialties with more personalized therapies with diagnostic tools. Patient-specific data is increasingly available via new generation of devices and applications that collect important data through wearable devices and smartphones. Big data enables healthcare professionals to accumulate and analyze large volume of new data that will open up new extents for research and treatment opportunities. Again, remote monitoring systems can help collect this information and play a key role in advancing analysis of this healthcare-associated big data.
IoT for remote monitoring. Internet of Things (IoT) will enable patients and healthcare providers to work together for more effective chronic disease management with open communication. By combining IoT features into medical devices, it can improve the quality and effectiveness of healthcare bringing high-value care for the elderly patients, who are suffering from chronic conditions and those requiring constant supervision. In recent years, there is a growing popularity in IoT-driven healthcare services and wearable medical devices that integrate sensors, actuators, and other mobile communications methods, allowing patient data to be continuously monitored and transmitted through cloud-based platforms. These devices can send immediate alerts to doctors and nurses of important changes in case of medical emergency.
Wearable medical technology advances. With the advancements in wireless technology, wearable devices can be used to remotely monitor a patient’s physiological factors. During a coronavirus pandemic, remote monitoring medical devices have become the most vital component of healthcare. Wearable devices and sensors deliver a better potential in the collection of data and insights to improve overall therapy.
Wearable technology has not only changed how we think about healthcare but also how it should be delivered. Sensor-based devices are continuously becoming smaller, more accurate, and cheaper to produce, allowing mass adoption by consumers. Wearable data is increasingly being used in clinical decision making, with recent studies showing that wearable devices can accurately measure heart rate, activity, and sleep.
Wearables allow the healthcare industry to get a continuous stream of data on their patients’ health to gain insights about their current state of health, and ultimately trends over time.
Wearable technology could be used to detect the early stages of chronic diseases, monitor the effects of certain treatments, and even help you get a better night of sleep.
New-generation wearable devices are equipped with IoT technology. Vital signs such as electrocardiography (ECG), blood sugar, and blood pressure are measured using wearable biosensors and transmitted over mobile wireless networks to a central server. Improvements in, and the increased availability of wireless data transmission networks, will facilitate the development of platforms for telehealth and enhanced patient monitoring. Listed below are regulatory approvals in recent years:
In June 2022, GE HealthCare launched a wireless patient-monitoring device. It supports in oxygen saturation capturing respiration rate, and pulse rate for post-surgery patients continuously and general ward, thereby giving clinicians to act early and avert serious adverse events.
In April 2022, LivaNova commenced the targeted commercial launch of its Essenz patient monitor, following receipt of required regulatory approvals. The system received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as CE Mark. It was initially launched in the US and Europe for use in hospitals that were involved in the device’s user-centric design and development program.
There are multiple types of wearables available on the market today. Each one has different features, but they all have a few things in common – they are unobtrusive, collect data passively, and every third patient already owns one.
New AI capabilities. Leading healthcare providers around the globe are experiencing firsthand how the latest AI and machine learning solutions can improve patient care. Each stage of the patient care journey can be transformed with the right types of AI-assisted healthcare solutions and applications. Many of the healthcare providers and companies working with AI are making impacts on inference times, resource management, and remote patient monitoring. Using the latest technology, healthcare organizations can deliver a more accessible, personalized, and enhanced care experience.
In terms of current market interests, AI connected to data analytics is at its peak; yet, in fact, AI is still developing on a comprehensive and integrated market scale.
Tricorder. The tricorder is a portable multi-functioning device that diagnoses, monitors, and analyzes several parameters, such as diabetes, atrial fibrillation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, urinary tract infection, sleep apnea, leukocytosis, pertussis, stroke, tuberculosis, and pneumonia. The device is named as DxtER and has been developed by Frontier Medical Devices as part of Basil Leaf Technologies. It is a combination of smart tools, including a digital stethoscope, wrist sensor, chest sensor, spirometer, and blood pressure calibrator that feeds AI program data to provide accurate diagnosis.
Biosticker. The biosticker is a highly advanced on-body sensor that enables effortless continuous monitoring of vital signs and actionable insights delivered to clinicians from patients in the home setting, thus creating exceptional opportunities for early detection of potentially avoidable complications. Highly effective care is now possible at a fraction of the price of conventional remote patient-monitoring devices, thanks to the platform’s data sets and analytics. It is designed for use by healthcare professionals to gather physiological data continuously while the patient is at rest at home, and in healthcare settings.
The introduction of rapid and sustainable advanced digital technologies could pave a new way to alleviate the situation and provide better healthcare. With advancements in the field of semiconductors and communication technologies, new options are available for patient monitoring that would readily enhance the quality of healthcare and improve patient safety. Many research groups across the globe have developed technologies to remotely monitor ECG, pulse oximetry, and non-invasive measurement of hemodynamic parameters.
In addition, AI- and machine learning-powered clinical decision-support systems would support the physicians in interpreting data from multiple parameters, and aid in an early indication of respiratory failure, internal bleeding, or onset of sepsis.
Future improvements to patient-monitoring systems will put more of an emphasis on making them more intuitive, interoperable, and predictive analysis-capable. Patients will be safer and receive precise care if systems have the option to add advanced and unique features, based on patient needs. Specificity in vital parameter measurement, options for wireless monitoring, and explicit alarms would improve the quality of care given to patients while reducing noise pollution, improving the detection of false alarms, and improving the job satisfaction of front-line healthcare staff.
Additionally, using mobile tablets instead of fixed-screen displays or IoT technology would enable the medical professionals to remotely check on the patient’s health.
In the next ten years, the development of the healthcare industry will be driven by advances in machine learning, the IoT, AI, wearable technology, and communication. This would enable future medical procedures and patient-monitoring systems to offer critical care unit patients high-quality, cost-effective healthcare.