Healthcare services are by nature very essential. That’s because health problems usually arise unexpectedly and may be lethal if not given the necessary attention in time. For these reasons, healthcare services must be made available in a prompt and ready manner.
There are two main options/approaches at the moment. These are the traditional regular healthcare services and the relatively new remote patient monitoring services, respectively.
For a start, remote patient monitoring services refer to the processes and technology of observing and gauging the progress and the quality of the healthcare services provided remotely by use of such gadgets as smart phone apps, video-conferencing facilities, and online data management systems. It is relatively new and is just gaining a foothold. Regular healthcare services on the other hand refer to the ordinary/traditional visiting of healthcare facilities to obtain medication or gauge the progress of any treatments.
In the discussions that follow, the strengths and the weaknesses of those two approaches are going to be looked into against several key parameters that naturally gauge the quality of the healthcare services offered together with a compelling conclusion as regards which of the two is the better option.
Remote Patient Monitoring Services vs. Regular Healthcare Services
The following are the main strengths and the weaknesses of these two healthcare provision approaches:
In the squeezed and demanding lifestyles of modern times, just as is the case with every other crucial service, prompt access to healthcare, is very vital. Remote patient monitoring services avail healthcare services if and when needed by reasons of not requiring physical visits to healthcare facilities and being accessible on a round-the-clock basis. It is therefore very relevant and handy to those who reside in remote areas and those who are held up in offices and other work places.
From the patient’s end, the cost of healthcare is much lower when accessed via the remote patient monitoring approach as opposed to the regular healthcare approach. That’s because a patient is absolved from the need to cater for several costs such as transportation, in-patient/ward, and consultation fees that are characteristic of the traditional regular healthcare services. Patients thus generally stand to save more of their money by opting for remote patient monitoring approach.
This refers to the extent/reach or the sum total of all the possible number of persons who may be effectively reached by either of the two healthcare approaches. The remote patient monitoring services, by the virtue of not requiring individual physical contact between the patients and the healthcare practitioners, are capable of reaching out to a wider target market or client base as opposed to the regular healthcare services which are limited in physical scope. The former approach is, therefore, more suited for rural areas and those other areas that are traditionally disadvantaged insofar as the access to healthcare practitioners is concerned.
— Zigverve.com (@zigverve) August 17, 2016
The term efficacy describes the success with which the respective approach discharges its services or mandates. A number of factors converge to make remote patient monitoring services more efficient than its regular healthcare services counterpart. These include: the border-free nature of its access; the speed with which it relays the various pieces of information and data; the automated and easy to use nature; and the relatively inexpensive nature.
The quality of healthcare dispensed via the remote patient monitoring services is undoubtedly higher than those dispensed via the regular healthcare services owing to the fact that timely communications between the patient and the healthcare practitioner is achievable; the prompt nature of the approach; and the fact that several patients may be handled at a time without compromising the quality of the services offered. For these reasons, the remote patient monitoring services clearly stand out over and above the regular healthcare services.
Chronically-ill patients such as those suffering from cancer and deep wounds, ordinarily require more frequent and regular visits to the very healthcare facilities in which their first cases were reported. That’s because crucial data and pieces of information may be lost in case they shift from doctor to doctor or from healthcare facility to healthcare facility. The remote patient monitoring services are more reliable in the long run owing to the fact that they ensure access to treatments regardless of the locations of the patient and are consequently handier for such cases.
It is the number of patients/clients that may be handled per unit time. Under this parameter, regular monitoring services are far more superior to their regular healthcare service counterparts because they are capable of handling a large number of users at any given time. The adoption of this technology therefore plays a significant role in reducing the size of crowds that may be witnessed in any healthcare facility at a time.
Interactivity refers to the extent and nature of the flow and exchange of information between the patient and the healthcare practitioner. By their automated nature, remote patient monitoring services grant the healthcare practitioners less interactivity with their patients. They are thus less suited for those ailments or health conditions that require direct physical contact with the patients such as mental disorders and psychological issues.
The cost of setting up a remote patient monitoring equipment is very high. This coupled with the fact that only very skilled professionals are required to operate them makes them far beyond the reach of many a prospective user who may be badly in need of them. The regular healthcare services on the other hand are cheaper and affordable to set up and maintain in the long run.
From the foregoing discussion, it is quite clear that the Remote Patient Monitoring Services are by far more superior to their Regular Healthcare Services counterparts, all factors considered. Inasmuch as the technology is largely in its nascent stages, it has proved itself very effective in dealing with the challenges and issues that are currently being confronted by the existing healthcare provision approaches. Therefore, any serious medical services provider cannot afford to ignore or downplay its efficacy.