Until recently, doctors most often prescribed a one-size-fits-all treatment for every patient. It was like going to a shoe store and being handed a pair of size 8s, no matter your actual foot size. But now, with the advent of precision medicine (PM), doctors are more like bespoke shoemakers, crafting custom treatments tailored to each patient’s unique needs. No more blisters, no more pinching—just a perfect fit, every time. When combined with remote patient monitoring (RPM), precision medicine becomes even more personalized and powerful.
The Precision Medicine Principle
Precision medicine, or “personalized medicine,” is an innovative method of customizing disease prevention and treatment for individual patients. Where standard medical treatments target the “average” patient, precision medicine analyzes patient data to identify the factors contributing to each individual’s health. PM’s goal is to administer the right treatment for each patient at the right time, to achieve the most favorable outcomes.
Patients eligible for PM undergo molecular testing to collect the data. The findings are used to design personalized therapies for cancer, which causes over half a million U.S. deaths each year, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions. These treatments reduce exposure to adverse effects and improve each patient’s chances of survival. Physicians can better predict which therapies will be most effective and avoid treatments that may be harmful.
RPM technology uses health monitoring devices that enable healthcare providers to monitor PM patients remotely, enhancing the level of care, improving outcomes, and making better use of clinical resources. This is particularly beneficial for patients located in remote or underserved areas.
Five Ways RPM Supports Precision Medicine
Remote patient monitoring enables clinicians and healthcare institutions to monitor patients more closely and in greater detail than traditional care methods. By collecting real-time data through RPM, providers can quickly identify changes in a patient’s health and adjust treatment plans accordingly. However, that’s not the only benefit of combining RPM with precision medicine.
Other ways RPM can support this highly specialized field of medicine include:
1. Administering Specialty Drugs
A key benefit of remote patient monitoring is the ability for providers to administer specialty drugs and biosimilars that often make up customized treatments, and to see the impact these drugs have on patient biometrics.
By managing the distribution, dosage, and results through telemedicine, physicians can support their patients without needing them to make in-person visits to their facilities. This improves patients’ access to care, reduces their travel burden, and achieves better long-term outcomes.
2. Increasing Medication Adherence
Medication adherence rates of 80% or more are necessary for optimal therapeutic efficacy in most medical conditions. However, estimates show the actual rate is much lower than that. Precision medicine is as much at-risk of non-adherence as traditional treatments. RPM reminds patients to take their medications via mobile apps and other digital methods, keeping them on track and reducing the risk of missed doses.
RPM’s real-time data also allows clinicians to identify potential adherence problems and intervene when necessary. For example, if a patient misses a dose of medication, the RPM system alerts the provider, who can then follow up with the patient to address any issues or concerns they have.
3. Improving Patient Education
RPM helps improve patients’ education and understanding of their treatment. By providing patients access to resources and information through digital platforms, providers can help them better understand the value of medication adherence and the benefits of therapy.
Education empowers patients to manage their health using tools such as medication reminders, exercise plans, and symptom trackers. These supports can help patients take an active role in their own care and management of their treatment.
RPM also helps educate patients about potential adverse events and gives them the resources needed to report any events to their provider.
4. Identifying Adverse Events
Remote patient monitoring is a valuable method of detecting adverse events, allowing healthcare providers to intervene early and prevent further harm. The RPM platform monitors patients’ vital signs and symptoms, gathers and transmits data on blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and other indicators, and symptoms such as pain, nausea, and fatigue. Changes in these metrics can suggest an adverse event such as an allergic reaction, infection, or medication side effect.
5. Tracking Patient Progress
RPM is a powerful means of tracking patient progress and monitoring changes in their health status over time. The data collected via health monitoring devices alert providers to changes in metrics such as oxygen saturation, weight, blood glucose, and activity levels. Fluctuations in the data can indicate improvements or declines in the patient’s condition and provide a comprehensive picture of their progress over time.
The Importance of RPM’s Role
Precision medicine has the potential to revolutionize medicine and support the shift to individualized healthcare by delivering more personalized, effective treatments. Remote patient monitoring can play an essential role in this process. By allowing medical professionals access to continuous and reliable data points, RPM makes it easier to tailor treatments for individual needs.
Combining RPM with precision medicine can reduce healthcare costs, increase access to care, and improve patient outcomes—all while raising practice revenue and improving provider profitability. Bring your healthcare organization to the forefront of a new age of personalized care by investing in RPM technology today!