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5 remote patient monitoring devices and the future of healthcare

In 2020 and beyond, the capabilities of remote patient monitoring devices and technology will be more powerful, effective, and interesting than ever before.

According to IHS (Information Handling Services), more than four million patients will monitor their health conditions remotely by 2020. This is a 34% increase in remote patient monitoring (RPM), thanks to many innovation advancements since 2014.

doctor on laptop using remote patient monitoring devices

Technological giants such as Google, Apple, and Amazon are tapping into the RPM market; this leads to drastic changes in healthcare. RPM technologies have increased the quality of life, reduced hospitalizations, and shortened hospital stays. And more companies entering the market by introducing and upgrading RPM devices.

Here are five RPM devices to watch:

1. Mitra® Microsampling Devices

Already on the market for several years, this hand-held device is designed to simplify blood collection for patients at home. Mitra® microsampling devices facilitate remote blood sampling. Thanks to a simple finger-stick method, blood collection with Mitra is less invasive than traditional blood collection methods. Additionally, this remote sampling technology is more reliable and cost-effective, making it easier to collect samples in low-resource regions.

HubSpot Video

2. Continuous Glucose Monitoring Device

DexCom™ was the first company to develop continuous glucose sensing technologies. Dexcom G6 eliminates the need to make finger pricks for glucose testing. Patients can now monitor their blood sugar levels throughout the day and night using a sensor inserted under the skin.

A more advanced version of the device has been released. The San Diego-based company has partnered with Apple to connect the Apple Watch with its CGM sensor. DexCom’s upgraded device was released in early 2020.

3. Affordable Surgical Robots

Surgical robotics are designed to help surgeons perform complex procedures with greater skill and precision. For example, the rotation of a human wrist is limited, which restricts a surgeon's access to hard-to-reach places during certain procedures. The fully reticulated instruments of surgical robotics, however, can be controlled by a robotics-trained surgeon to allow greater access with greater acuity. A surgeon's visualization of the surgical area is also greatly improved with the assistance of surgical robotics, which can provide 3-dimensional views in magnification projected on a wide screen in the operating room. While it is unlikely that surgical robots will replace human surgeons, the smart technology and advanced instrumentation they provide can enhance the performance of an already skilled surgeon.

The in-demand robotics’ high price has been the biggest hindrance faced by health organizations. Several companies are developing more affordable surgical robotics systems. Riverfield™, a Japanese startup, intends to launch a low-priced surgical robot in 2020. The company has received funding from Toray Engineering to increase its capital base and help develop a user-friendly device. However, Intuitive Surgical, Stryker Inc., and Medtronic continue to lead in the surgical robotics market.

4. AI-backed Computer Vision

Artificial intelligence (AI) has advanced many industries, including healthcare. In 2020, it is expected to enhance computer vision. This technology will enable devices to make accurate diagnoses faster than humans. An example of its application is estimating blood loss in mothers during and after childbirth.

This application of AI-enabled technology may help hospitals meet a new requirement made by The Joint Commission, which accredits roughly 77% of hospitals in the United States. In 2019, the Commission announced a new perinatal safety guideline requiring accredited hospitals to take measures to more closely monitor and treat postpartum patients who experience maternal hemorrhage. The new standard went into effect in July 2020. AI-enabled platforms that support this effort are being developed by companies like Gauss.

5. Mixed Reality Surgical Devices

Mixed reality is a combination of virtual and augmented realities. It enables the interaction of digital objects while creating a sense of presence in the real world. When applied to the medical field, mixed reality devices help medical professionals better understand and visualize a patient’s condition. For example, physicians can gather important, current imaging information before beginning a surgical procedure.

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