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Remote monitoring is increasingly recognized as a way to enable better patient outcomes. By providing visibility over time on health and treatment adherence, remote monitoring helps providers intervene sooner with more personalized care, and has been considered the standard of care by the Heart Rhythm Society since 2015. The technology has been especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, when patients have been shying away from in-person healthcare, and providers have been trying to find ways to monitor COVID patients not sick enough to be hospitalized. In fact, several states are now requiring health insurers to cover remote patient monitoring.

Unfortunately, many patients eligible for remote patient monitoring never enroll in the first place, and those who do enroll, often don’t stay connected. For remote monitoring to be successful, there must be high connectivity—a regular data stream between the patient and provider. Breaks in the connection create gaps in the data or loss to follow-up, making remote monitoring ineffective.

This happens all too often, for many different reasons. Some remote monitoring devices require an active role from the patient, such as remembering to log information, travel with their monitor, and look out for internet connection or power losses. The device itself may also have an analmoly or glitch that breaks this connection.

“There are a lot of ways patients can get disconnected, and it is often outside of anyone’s control,” says Shania Cress, Clinical Operations Director of Rhythm Management Group. “The key is to rapidly find those patients and reconnect them, so that clinicians can continue to provide the best, and most proactive care possible.”

Rhythm’s approach

Remote monitoring’s reliance on high connectivity is why we at Rhythm are so dedicated to factoring in connectivity in everything we do, and why we can boast a 94% connectivity rate. Through a high-touch, high-tech approach we provide patient engagement and education resources as well as daily monitoring and customizable alerts to ensure that patients aren’t slipping through the cracks and can be quickly reconnected should a disconnection occur.

We also ensure connectivity by providing each practice with a dedicated administrator who manages one-to-one connection with patients. This also includes identifying and engaging patients as soon as they are eligible for remote monitoring, which correlates with greater connectivity over the long term. Our clinical and onboarding team members also play a role in educating and regularly interacting with patients to keep connectivity up and quickly reconnect those who have been disconnected.

We are excited that remote monitoring is becoming more accepted and utilized in patient care, not only in the United States—where it is forecasted to become a $2.14 billion market in the next six years—but also across the world. However, for remote monitoring to live up to its potential, there can’t be any breaks in patient data, and maintaining connectivity must be a priority when implementing remote monitoring solutions. By continuously striving to improve connectivity, we can continue to expand care and improve outcomes for all.