In the age of smartphones, health devices like activity trackers have become a ubiquitous part of our day-to-day lives. The range of health devices on the market has become much broader too. From remote blood pressure monitors to ECG Monitors, remote devices help many people maintain and improve their health from the comfort of their homes.
Selecting the right remote monitoring devices is a vital task for healthcare systems looking to level up patient care and streamline remote patient monitoring (RPM) programs. Beyond just meeting regulatory requirements, these devices play a crucial role in engaging patients and boosting operational efficiency.
Here are the key criteria that healthcare providers should consider when choosing RPM devices for their patient populations:
FDA clearance. FDA clearance is the seal of quality that offers the assurance of safety, efficacy, and regulatory compliance — and is also a non-negotiable for reimbursement by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Ask manufacturers for paperwork that proves their FDA clearance, and double-check the information with the FDA database for regulatory peace of mind.
Accuracy and clinical efficacy. Examine the manufacturer's testing procedures and accuracy acceptance criteria to ensure that the device functions as it should. Your clinical team should assess whether the devices align with industry clinical criteria for acceptability and accuracy, tailoring the evaluation process as needed for your health system’s specific RPM program. Additionally, subject the vendor to a comprehensive risk and compliance review to ensure partnerships align with industry standards and regulatory requirements.
Company trustworthiness. It can be disheartening for clinical teams to go through the work of selecting a device, only to find that the manufacturer offers little to no support for its products, or worse, goes out of business altogether. Given the volatility in the device industry, the credibility of the device manufacturer is crucial. Consider factors such as the company's U.S. presence, longevity, and customer support model. Evaluate its logistics too, including return policies and volume capabilities. Opting for an established and reliable company ensures a stable and supportive partnership.
Patient experience. Devices should offer a user-friendly experience, ensuring easy device activation, simple measurement procedures, intuitive interfaces, readable measurement values, error detection, and easy battery replacement. Consider sizing compatibility and weight too, tailoring them to your patient population. Additionally, assess whether there is support available for training patients on device usage as needed.
Data transmission. Efficient and secure data transmission is crucial so healthcare providers can use the information. Evaluate whether data is transmitted accurately, securely in compliance with HIPAA rules, and automatically to the care team platform. Consider geographical restrictions, device connectivity options, and coverage areas. Make sure there’s proactive monitoring of device transmission to both prevent and troubleshoot for any outages. Versatility in device connectivity is also essential to accommodate diverse patient needs.
Scaling and expansion capabilities. When working with external device services and vendors, make sure that they offer the full range of devices and services you require now — and may require in the future. Some companies offer only simple cuffs and scales and have no plans to expand into more complex devices. If you want your healthcare system to have the option of growing its remote monitoring programs, pick partners that allow for easy scalability and expansion.
Though evaluating each device against these criteria might seem exhaustive, it's an essential step. Neglecting this process could result in problems such as financial waste due to inefficiencies, suboptimal care caused by data delays, and patient disengagement. By prioritizing systematic evaluation, healthcare systems can confidently select those devices that best suit their patient population and program goals. Organizations should also routinely review the marketplace for new offerings as the device landscape develops and changes quickly.
Not all healthcare organizations are prepared to perform thorough evaluations of devices. In such a case, partnering with a vendor like Veta Health is the sensible approach. Veta Health offers Prosper Dispatch, a device and logistics service providing comprehensive device solutions. Prosper Dispatch streamlines device selection, logistics, and data management, offering a turnkey experience that seamlessly integrates with electronic medical records (EMRs). This empowers healthcare organizations to effortlessly start, expand, or optimize their remote care programs.
Explore the Prosper Dispatch brochure to delve deeper into Veta Health's solution, and contact us to find out how Prosper Dispatch can support your healthcare system.