Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is fast becoming a standard of care across health systems, with 88% of providers investing in RPM technology according to a recent Spyglass survey. As the wariness of providers toward innovation gives way to the insistence of patients for new health technologies, health systems are looking for ways to effectively incorporate RPM into their workflows and patient offerings.
At first pass, the most practical entry into the RPM seems to be a general solution. Many companies, even the EMRs, take a mile-wide, inch-deep approach with technology in clinical care to try to extend the reach of the solution to the most patients possible. Yet such a wide approach typically results merely in the development of a simple portal or interface, and doesn’t actually move the needle on outcomes. In the attempt to do everything, general RPM solutions really can’t do much of anything well.
When we developed Babyscripts, we decided to take a mile-deep approach with RPM, to focus on one thing: better pregnancies. We knew that a precise and specific approach to a complex problem was the only way of achieving better outcomes. We wouldn’t order lobster off a diner menu — we couldn’t trust the intricacies of pregnancy to a general RPM solution.
Of course, there are many health events on which we could have narrowed our focus — so why pregnancy? Here’s a breakdown:
1. Pregnant mothers are the right age for RPM.
The average span of childbearing age — 15 to 44 — makes pregnant moms the ideal demographic for digital tools. The Millennials and Gen Zers who largely make up the demographic are more likely to use technology in their social environments, and more desirous for digital solutions for their healthcare, so a pregnant population is predisposed to be an engaged population — our research backs it up.
2. Pregnancy is a defined episode.
Unlike chronic conditions, which often continue through years of care management, pregnancy occurs in a defined timeframe, allowing for more scalable and impactful management — and its episodic nature makes it more adapted to and better serviced by the current fee-for-service model. A pregnancy solution can have a direct and immediate outcome on greater numbers of patients than a chronic care solution.
3. The stakes are higher with a baby.
Pregnancy uniquely involves another person. While a patient might not be motivated to make healthy choices for their own wellbeing, accepting the consequences of their lifestyle for themselves, the introduction of another human life for which they are responsible increases the motivation to follow care recommendations.
4. Maternal mortality and morbidity is a national crisis.
The United States’ rates of maternal mortality and morbidity are the highest in the developed world, and rising. In this time of crisis, a solution that addresses the issues targeting our mothers is an imperative. The problems of access and the gaps in care, particularly for low-income and rural populations, are uniquely resolved through RPM.