Can remote patient monitoring reduce utilization during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Can remote patient monitoring reduce healthcare utilization?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many hospitals and health systems are operating at maximum capacity. This poses a unique challenge for high-risk patients with chronic respiratory conditions, like asthma and COPD. How can physicians continue to provide quality care for their patients without overburdening hospitals or putting their patients at risk?

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) allows physicians to monitor their patients’ health without an in-person visit. RPM relies on hardware and software to track various patient data — for example, rescue and controller inhaler usage — and sending that data to the clinic. With this information, physicians can prioritize patients who are poorly controlled and at higher risk of an exacerbation.

With RPM, physicians are able to call or conduct telemedicine visits to check in on a patient. If necessary, the physician can route the patient to the appropriate resources based on their symptoms. At the same time, RPM helps physicians keep an eye on their healthier patients. For chronic respiratory patients, staying well-controlled and out of the hospital are especially important, because these patients may have a higher risk for severe symptoms due to COVID-19. 

Remote monitoring has been shown to decrease emergency department utilization and overall healthcare utilization for both asthma and COPD patients. This may help alleviate the burden on already overstrained health systems while simultaneously reducing costs. For asthma specifically, increased control can lead to a decrease in over $2000 per year in total costs per patient.

The Propeller Provider Portal displays a dashboard of patient data, notifications about patients who are at risk for exacerbations and monthly reports on each patient’s progress. Propeller has helped physicians decrease ED utilizations for both asthma and COPD patients. In an asthma population, remote monitoring with Propeller resulted in a 53% decrease in ED utilization. In a different study in conjunction with Cleveland Clinic, ED utilization for COPD patients who had ED utilizations in the previous year decreased from an average of 3.4 to 2.2 events per year. 

If you are interested in offering Propeller to your patients with asthma or COPD, email [email protected].