A few statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show why there is increasing demand and need for RPM within cardiology. It is estimated that nearly 1 out of 2 U.S. adults has hypertension, with most of these adults failing to have their hypertension under control. Estimates also suggest that upwards up 6.1 million people in the United States have atrial fibrillation (AF) — a figure that will rise as the population ages. Finally, CDC estimates indicate that more than 42% of the American population was considered obese in 2017–2018, which is up from about 31% in 1999–2000.
The demographics of cardiology patients are the demographics that stand to benefit the most from RPM. They are generally older patients with chronic conditions that can exacerbate without easily self-identifiable symptoms until a health crisis.
Additionally, the above-noted disease states often require medication changes based upon the data that can be easily captured via RPM devices. This adds convenience for patients and cardiology practices without the need for unnecessary office visits.
While we still have a lot to learn about the direct effects of RPM on patients with heart failure, the American Heart Association notes there has been evidence suggesting that RPM lowers the risk of heart failure hospital admissions and mortality. RPM can greatly increase the quality of life for such patients and help detect trouble much sooner. According to the American Heart Association, "Recent clinical guidelines strongly recommend the use of RPM for AF detection in both stroke and non-stroke patients."
The American Heart Association also states, "Research has shown RPM can reduce systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure significantly compared to usual care and self-monitoring alone."
Since the volume of patients requiring care is continually increasing, delivering care for everyone who needs it can be overwhelming, even for the most efficient practitioners. RPM can be an easy solution to this time-management conundrum that also improves outcomes and increases patient accountability in their own health.