We at Hyfe, Inc., are a company devoted to working on tools to better understand the importance of cough. It is Hyfe’s intention in the future to seek regulatory approval for medical products that analyze cough in order that they may be used to diagnose, monitor, and facilitate better treatment of respiratory illnesses.
Research suggests that healthcare providers can avoid many adverse outcomes by monitoring patients with respiratory illnesses. In addition, most healthcare policies encourage telehealth which includes remote respiratory monitoring to support self-management of long-term conditions. Artificial Intelligence also empowers sensors to achieve a better understanding of these patient conditions.
Imagine this: regardless of where you happen to be on Earth, you can continuously monitor your health. Remote patient monitoring seeks to monitor patients’ vitals and communicate the information back to healthcare providers for assessment. This approach has proven vital in healthcare and chronic conditions like asthma, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
By using artificial intelligence and monitoring technologies, these devices can improve the quality of care. They can also reduce healthcare costs to care for patients. So, let’s check some remote patient monitoring devices used in respiratory care.
Designers and engineers have mainly created wearable devices to focus on diseases associated with low physical activity levels. For instance, to help in conditions like asthma, cardiovascular diseases, among others, cough sounds, and your surrounding environment. Such technology has become mainstream as consumer wearable devices. Primary examples are wristbands and smartwatches.
Measuring physical activity can potentially help identify the disease stage at which your physical activity becomes limited. Therefore, this sheds light on the relationship between physical activity and clinical characteristics. This clarity helps give clues on innovative clinical procedures to predict patient risk and provide more effective interventions on time.
Sometimes referred to as acoustic monitoring, microphones measure breathing sound over human skin to detect breathing patterns. This technology can track several parameters, such as respiratory rate, flow rate, tidal volume, and symptoms related to respiratory illness such as wheezing (could indicate asthma) or cough (could indicate many possibilities, their likelihood dependent on the cough pattern).
There are many sensors available on the market for respiratory rate measurement. A study concluded that: a wearable system could reliably capture nearly continuous patient respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, heart rate, and other data to screen early COPD deterioration.
Some environmental parameters are significant in the case of respiratory patients, such as air quality. Several devices can integrate seamlessly into fashion by clipping to garments. For instance, a few examples include TZOA, AirBeam, or the Lapka Personal Environment Monitor that can provide such information.
Electronic monitoring devices (EMDs) are becoming more common. These devices provide objective data and avoid the typical pitfalls of patient self-reports, such as biases.
This type of device helps assess patients with lung disease, a pulse oximeter is an electronic device that clips onto a patient’s finger to measure heart rate and oxygen saturation in the patient’s red blood cells. Since this is a compact device, anyone can use it anywhere, including outside the healthcare setting.
Smartphones are nowadays becoming the mainstay in personal computation due to their dual versatility. These pocket-friendly devices are versatile in hardware (incredible and increasing suite of sensors) and hardware (access to a vast and ever-increasing selection of software).
These apps can provide the patient with: audiovisual reminders for taking medications, correlate medication use with environmental exposures (i.e., weather, ozone, pollution) using smartphone GPS coordinates, and feedback on proper device use.
Other typical usefulness of smartphones includes digital communications such as direct messaging to a patient`s phone where:
Remote monitoring devices have certainly reduced costs while prioritizing comfort and convenience for patients and service providers alike. For example, they reduce hospital admissions and ER visits, particularly for conditions such as COPD and heart disease, to save time and costs during travel. In addition, these benefits help patients have more time to heal. All the while healthcare professionals are monitoring patient stats in real-time.
Some patients often feel their morale drop when they become convinced there is nothing they can do about their condition. Because such devices enable patients to perceive how well their body responds to medication, it can facilitate them to regain control of their lives. In other words, to empower the patient. Therefore, patients are more likely to take their medication regularly and complete their treatment programs. This approach also reduces stress and anxiety for patients.
It is no surprise that chronic conditions place a huge burden on healthcare providers. However, technology and connectivity in the healthcare sector can effectively manage people with disabilities, chronic disease, or aging populations.
With remote patient monitoring, we save time, energy, and resources. Now, this is the future we all want for healthcare.