There are two different connectivity options for RPM devices. Learning about the different types of connectivity options is one of the most important things to do when implementing a remote patient monitoring program for your practice. Why? Because there are many advantages and disadvantages to each option and you have to think of your patients and what would work best for them.
What are some of the reasons patients have a hard time using their device?
Patients may not be familiar with the technology. This can result in not using their devices at all or not as often, which prevents patients and their health care provider from monitoring their health metrics on a regular basis.
Not having reliable internet access. This is where one option would be better than the other.
Collect and transmit the patients health information via the same networks that smartphones do
Companies that offer cellular RPM devices will usually partner with one of the major cell phone providers to use their vast and stable network
Cellular networks are very reliable which is important when a patient is transmitting their information to their health provider
Ready to use out of the box, no complicated setup necessary
May not receive good service in rural areas
Patients may not be able to transmit their data if there is a network outage
Slightly more expensive because of the monthly service fee
Most affordable option because of the no monthly connection fee
Best for patients familiar with tech (young tech-savvy patients)
No wifi or cellular signal needed to automatically sync
No need to worry about outages due to the cellular network
Much wider selection of RPM devices that use Bluetooth
Setup is difficult, not user-friendly for those who are not tech-savvy
Can result in frequent technical problems because of the complex setup
No built-in two way communication between patient and provider
There is no right or wrong answer to which option is best, it all depends on patient population and goals for your program. If your patient population is older and mostly consists of Medicare patients, it would be best to use Cellular connectivity due to the simplicity. Patients who are younger and may be tech-savvy would be good Bluetooth device users.