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Often, doctors and other healthcare providers personally care for patients in facilities such as clinics or hospitals. Thanks to computers, smartphones and other new digital technologies, medical professionals can now diagnose, treat and supervise patient care virtually.

1. Learn about remote patient monitoring telehealth

Remote patient monitoring telehealth is defined as the delivery of health care services over long distances through the use of technology. It can include everything from medical visits via computers to remote monitoring of patient vital signs. Its definition is broader than remote patient monitoring telehealth, which only includes the delivery of health care services remotely.

2. Advantages of remote patient monitoring telehealth

There are several advantages to using technology to provide health care, including cost savings, convenience, and the ability to provide care to people with limited mobility or in rural areas without access to local doctors or clinics. For these reasons, the use of remote patient monitoring telehealth has grown significantly over the past decade. Currently, 76 percent of U.S. hospitals connect doctors and patients remotely through remote patient monitoring telehealth, up 35 percent from a decade ago.

Remote patient monitoring telehealth has become even more important during the coronavirus pandemic. Fears of spreading and contracting the virus during in-person visits have led to greater interest in and use of technology for delivering and receiving healthcare. Nearly three-quarters of Americans surveyed said the pandemic has made them more eager to try virtual care. Additionally, a quarter of Americans over the age of 50 said they received a virtual health care visit during the first three months of the pandemic. That compares with just 4 percent of seniors who had a remote visit in the previous year.

3. What can you do with remote patient monitoring telehealth?

With the help of remote patient monitoring telehealth, all the following activities and services are possible: Record measurements such as your weight, food intake, blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar levels through a wearable RPM device and send them to your doctor.

You can have a virtual visit with your doctor or nurse from your computer or smartphone. You can also use the online portal to view your test results, request a refill, message your doctor, or schedule an appointment. Plus, you can share information about your test results, diagnosis, medications, and drug allergies with all the providers you see. You can coordinate care between your primary care provider and any specialist you visit, including sharing exam records and test results between medical offices in different locations. And when you need mammograms, colonoscopies and other screenings or routine vaccinations, you'll get email or text reminders. Remote patient monitoring telehealth can also help monitor seniors at home, making sure they eat, sleep and take their medications on time.

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