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Bluetooth vs. Cellular Devices: Types of Remote Patient Monitoring

April 7, 2023
doctor checking on patient using remote patient monitoring devices

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a type of healthcare service that allows patients to use digital devices to measure and monitor their vital signs and health status from the convenience of their own homes. This technology enables healthcare providers to monitor patients remotely, enabling earlier detection of potential health issues and providing timely interventions. Using RPM, patients can track various health metrics, such as blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and glucose levels. RPM has proven to be highly effective, with studies showing that it can reduce hospital readmissions, improve patient outcomes, and lower healthcare costs. Overall, RPM has the potential to transform the process of healthcare to become more patient-centric, convenient, and efficient.

Common Clinical Uses For RPM

Remote patient monitoring can help manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. RPM devices can measure vital signs such as blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and heart rate, and transmit this data to healthcare professionals who can determine symptoms or adherence to medication, then make informed decisions about patient care.

Here is an extensive but still not all-encompassing list of conditions that remote patient monitoring can enhance the treatment of:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Asthma
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Crohn's disease
  • Chronic migraines
  • Sleep apnea
  • Obesity
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Epilepsy
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic viral infections, such as HIV or hepatitis C
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries

Fields that frequently embrace RPM include cardiology, pulmonology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, and bariatrics. Still, the applications for remote patient monitoring are seemingly endless, and far exceed those listed above.

Types Of Remote Patient Monitoring

Common RPM devices include blood pressure monitors, weight scales, blood glucose meters, spirometers, pulse oximeters, and ECG machines. There are two types of remote patient monitoring devices—Bluetooth and cellular.

Bluetooth RPM Devices

Bluetooth RPM devices use low-power, wireless technology to transmit patient data from medical devices, such as blood glucose meters or blood pressure cuffs, to a receiver or mobile device. Healthcare professionals can monitor patient data in real time and provide timely interventions, improving patient outcomes.

Cellular RPM Devices

Cellular RPM tech instead uses cellular networks to send patient data to healthcare specialists, also allowing for real-time monitoring and punctual intervention. Compared to its Bluetooth adversary, cellular RPM is more convenient for patients because it does not require a paired device, making it accessible to a larger population. For patients in rural and all but secluded areas, cellular RPM diminishes the burden that in-person appointments may present for those with chronic ailments. Cellular is also more reliable than Bluetooth in general, as it is less prone to connectivity issues. Besides all this, cellular can track and transmit more comprehensive patient data including location, medication adherence, and patient activity.

Benefits Of Remote Patient Monitoring

RPM offers many benefits to patients, healthcare providers, and the healthcare system as a whole. Some of the major benefits include:

1. Improved Patient Outcomes:

RPM can help to detect health issues earlier, leading to timely interventions and better patient outcomes.

2. Increased Patient Engagement:

RPM empowers patients to take an active role in their care, leading to increased patient engagement and better adherence to treatment plans.

3. Enhanced Access To Care:

RPM allows patients to receive care from the comfort of their homes, increasing access to care for individuals who live in rural or remote areas, have mobility issues, or have limited access to transportation.

4. Reduced Healthcare Costs:

RPM can reduce healthcare costs by reducing hospital readmissions, preventing complications, and avoiding unnecessary visits to emergency departments.

5. Increased Efficiency:

RPM can help healthcare providers manage their patient populations more efficiently, as they can monitor multiple patients simultaneously, prioritize their interventions, and respond to emergencies more effectively.

Our Remote Patient Monitoring

Smart Meter RPM is a medical technology provider specializing in remote patient monitoring (RPM) via cellular transmission. Smart Meter strives to be a pioneer in RPM device design and innovation, transforming healthcare into a patient-focused practice that enables patients and doctors access to accurate real-time health readings. All Smart Meter monitoring devices use proprietary cellular software developed by world-class IT experts, are FDA-registered, and are connected to an exclusive AT&T 4/5G network. In addition, with the purchase of Smart Meter devices, patients also have access to an exclusive device management platform that allows them to order, track, and deactivate any device at any time.

The remote patient monitoring devices provided by Smart Meter include:

  • the iBloodPressure®, which measures blood pressure for heart disease and stroke patients
  • the iGlucose®, which provides blood glucose readings for type 1 and type 2 diabetes management
  • the iScale®, a patient-first weight measuring device, can be helpful in the management of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers.

Our remote patient monitoring devices can also help with the care of the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Hypertension
  • COPD
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Obesity

Talk To Us!

If you or someone you know or love is encountering difficulties regarding the current healthcare modalities they experience and would be interested in the convenience and accuracy of remote patient monitoring, please contact us without hesitation. Our innovative medical technology could improve your access to quality healthcare—remotely from your home.