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Product Manager at Relevant Software

Remote Patient Monitoring Software Development: An Expert’s Guide

IoT

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One of the main opportunities that IoT technology has brought to healthcare is remote patient monitoring systems. And they are much more than just technological tools monitoring patients’ vital signs from a distance. 

These systems can automate routine tasks, optimize costs, and improve analytics and quality of care across the organization. Isn’t that enough to get you thinking about implementing remote patient monitoring software as quickly as possible?

As Relevant develops systems to optimize healthcare services, we will share our knowledge of the latest remote patient monitoring software development and the benefits of these tools for healthcare facilities. And, as the title suggests, we will walk you through the details of the development of such solutions.

The reasons for building a patient monitoring solution today

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) gained popularity even before the COVID-19 crisis. But when the pandemic forcibly reduced the number of direct contacts between people, the value of remote patient monitoring services became even more evident.

Thus, the demand for remote healthcare technologies and investment in software development for remote health monitoring has grown significantly. The global RPM market is expected to be worth more than $1.7 billion by 2027, nearly 128% more than it is now.

That fully reflects the interest of the industry in technology. Specifically, 20% of hospitals and clinics in the US have already implemented medical monitoring, and 23% plan to implement the technology within the following year.

By 2024, about 30 million people will use remote monitoring tools in the United States alone. And that figure will increase with the broader adoption of 5G technology.

What are the benefits of patient monitoring software?

Remote patient monitoring is a component of the broader telehealth and e-health industry. It is a digital way of managing and monitoring the health of acute (or chronic) patients and collecting vital health-related data safely and reliably. Let’s look at the benefits that make RPM systems so relevant.

Improving the quality of care

In a VivaLNK survey, 90% of hospitals and clinics showed that continuous 24-hour data provide more critical information than episodic data. Therefore, medical organizations that have implemented patient care and hospital medical monitoring solutions are more effective in monitoring the condition of patients with chronic diseases and can prevent complications at an early stage.

Remote access to medical care

In an industry survey, over 64% of respondents aged 40 and above said they would prefer to use wearable monitoring devices instead of visiting doctors. The remote patient monitoring app allows patients to connect with healthcare providers without seeing a healthcare facility. It also frees up doctors’ time to treat more critical patients.

Patient engagement and satisfaction

RPM technology can make people interested in their health. Because remote patient care and monitoring solutions keep doctors in touch 24/7, patients are regularly reminded of their treatment plan and check-ups.

Optimization of medical resources

Remote patient monitoring solutions can reduce unnecessary patient hospitalizations. In this way, you can use medical resources such as personnel, equipment, and medicines more efficiently.

Key Benefits of Patient Monitoring Software

KLAS Research found that 38% of healthcare organizations implementing PRM programs for chronic disease management reported a reduction in hospital admissions, and 17% saw a reduction in costs.

RPM market trends

With the advancement of IoT big data solutions, RPM has new ways to improve healthcare. For example, remote patient monitoring software integration into wearable devices to collect large volumes of medical data from patients. 

Also, RPM systems will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare for various categories of patients. In addition, work is actively underway on:

  • By minimizing the size of wearable RPM devices to make them less invasive for users.
  • Multifunctional trackers can track multiple vital signs at once in remote settings.
  • Standalone remote monitoring devices can operate without EMR and EHR integration.

Clinics and hospitals are looking forward to developing a variety of modern and discreet wearable trackers that can seamlessly integrate into existing hospital workflows. We should consider these trends when designing advanced remote patient monitoring systems for the foreseeable future.

Main types of remote patient monitoring solutions

As a crucial segment of the many IoT applications, E-health offers a range of user-friendly solutions for patients, doctors, and nurses.

IoT medical applications

They collect data from wearable devices, such as smartwatches. These apps come in handy because of the real-time notifications and alerts that prompt people to monitor their symptoms and health conditions.

Application forms

They enable healthcare providers to collect personal data about patients’ symptoms and general well-being through a series of questions. These applications require less complex software implementations, so they are usually cheaper than the previous ones.

Live video conferencing

These applications are among the most popular RPM apps, as they allow doctors to video conference with their patients in real-time.

Mobile healthcare

These software applications and smart devices are designed to support continuous healthcare. Here are some examples of such systems:

  • Medical alert systems;
  • Electrocardiography devices;
  • Heart rate monitors;
  • Pulse oximeters;
  • Respiratory rate monitors;
  • Continuous glucose monitors.

Precision Care apps

These apps accumulate data for medical research. However, this kind of application does not include interactions between healthcare providers and patients.

 Main Types of Remote Patient Monitoring Solutions

How does an IoT patient monitoring system work?

Remote monitoring technologies differ depending on the application. However, each solution has a typical architecture that includes the following elements:

Sensors are placed on portable and wearable medical devices to measure the vital signs of a patient.

  • Local data storage. It accumulates data received from sensors on the patient’s side and interacts with centralized storage on the provider’s side.
  • Centralized storage. It collects and stores data from various sources such as patient devices, analytics systems, and e-medicine.
  • Software used to analyze data. It processes information from a centralized repository and sends alerts to carers, providers, and patients as needed. Apps on the patient’s device can include diagnostic apps recommended, for example, for patients with heart disease, that can guide what to do next.

At first glance, everything is relatively simple, but you probably want to learn more. So, how does remote patient monitoring work?

Components of a Remote Patient Monitoring System, Based on an IoT-Cloud Architecture
Source: Conference paper from 2015 IEEE International Conference on Services Computing

Data collection and exchange

The provider determines the conditions to be managed remotely and runs a remote patient monitoring program to offer the RPM service. With patient consent, they are provided with devices for collecting health data such as wearables, IoT devices, and sensors.

Once the devices are correctly configured, health data is collected and transmitted from patient to provider using a cloud server, usually electronically. Your device must have a Wi-Fi or LTE adapter for transfer to be possible. Cost-effective RPM devices also allow medical data to be transferred to IoT mobile apps via Bluetooth.

Grade

Once the patient’s data from the RPM is in the database, the clinic’s software (using advanced data management and analytics) can automatically turn it into actionable information and choose the course of action. Doctors study the findings and identify potential problems. The systems process data using artificial intelligence and send quick alerts to patients.

Broadcast

The data collected from remote monitoring systems is transmitted to healthcare providers via the Internet, text, telephone, or other communication methods. Remote patient monitoring with audio and video conferencing capabilities can simplify communication between doctors and their patients. By adding various communication functions, you can transform the basic RPM system into a complete telemedicine platform.

Notifications

Special emergency services send alerts to contact patients and begin treatment quickly if a patient needs immediate help. However, remember that HIPAA does not allow patient information to be included in notifications.

How to develop patient monitoring software: Step by step

To understand what IoT development looks like, we present the steps from the client and developer perspectives.

Patient Monitoring Software Development in 9 Steps

Step 1. Market research

First, you must familiarize yourself with the latest trends in the market – new features, applications that have already been developed, and, most importantly, the pros and cons of each existing solution. To do this, conduct a competitor analysis and study user reviews. 

Awareness of avoidable mistakes can help you understand what your application should look like for it to be popular and sought after by potential customers.

Based on the insights you gain from market research, you will build a key RPM value, outline a set of features that deliver that value, and set measurable goals for developers.

Step 2. What problem do you want to solve?

The second step is to decide what purpose your application will serve. All successful patient monitoring solutions are usually associated with some problem that you must solve to achieve a specific goal. As you ponder various ideas for a healthcare app, ask yourself these targeted questions:

  • How will my app improve users’ lives?
  • What problem should it solve?
  • Will it fill the existing gap in today’s services?
  • How will it stand out from the competition?

There are plenty of mobile RPMs in the market, and you need to understand that your application will compete with many others. That is why you and your development team will need to plan a clear and unique value proposition with key, or even unusual, values.

Step 3. Define the audience

The third step is to define the stakeholders’ goals (investors, doctors, and medical personnel). Since patients – the elderly, children, and people with chronic diseases – need different functions, developers can segment them by condition or time of care – short or long term.

Step 4. Choose the tech stack

Now you should focus on studying the requirements and defining the product specifications. You must clearly understand the technology stack, budget, and time estimates. A trusted IT provider and the team can help you meet this challenge.

Step 5. Comply with privacy and compliance regulations

The safety and security of medical data – as a form of protected health information – is essential. And the data collected by medical wearable and connected medical devices are no exception. Make sure that the developers of your solution follow the privacy policy for HIPAA compliance.

Your IoT software solutions must also comply with all safety guidelines related to remote patient monitoring, such as SOC2 Type2, ISO27001. When developing medical monitoring apps, best practices such as:

  • Two-factor authentication for personal identification;
  • Encryption of health data both at rest and in motion;
  • Secure network connections (for example – http).

Step 6. Think about the design

At this stage, the development team creates the UI / UX design: 

  • sitemap and interface elements for desktop, mobile, and web applications;
  • types of monitoring devices;
  • database (local server or cloud solution);
  • methods of synchronization between the RPM application and your database.

Step 7. What will be the features of your remote patient monitoring software?

If you want a custom health monitoring system, it makes sense to start with a minimum viable product (MVP) with basic functionality that you can use for further testing. You can add additional features to the final product gradually (perhaps even after release).

Below, we list the primary functions that the best patient monitoring systems should have.

  • Platform customization. The application must sync with existing and future systems – whether it comes out-of-the-box with leading built-in integration frameworks built-in or provides APIs for custom integrations.
  • Device integration. The platform should collect and log data from wearable or other devices your patients can use to track progress.
  • Workflow management. The platform should automate and optimize your team’s processes. Ideally, the data should be addressed to the patient’s profile so that doctors can guide them every step of the way to treatment.
  • Communication capabilities. A sound system supports the channels you need to use, such as text messaging, video conferencing, or chat applications.
  • Tracking. You may need to track activities on your platform and the corresponding RPM billing codes.
  • Scalability. The program should grow with the organization, allowing the healthcare team to serve more patients with the same resources.
  • User-friendliness. The software should be intuitive for users and require minimal training.

Advanced features such as integrated billing, geolocation, or voice commands make the application even more attractive.

Step 8. Final testing and release

System development is only part of the work required, and you must thoroughly test devices for the accuracy of the data they receive and transmit. In addition, after you and your team release your application, it will need to be regularly updated and all processes tested to ensure it runs smoothly.

Step 9. Hire an experienced development team 

We’ve put this step at the end, but it starts your journey to healthcare app development. Finding a dedicated development team to create patient care and monitoring solutions with reasonable prices is difficult. That’s when we recommend choosing Ukraine. Outsourcing IoMT development in Ukraine is the best choice in terms of value for money.

What about the costs?

The bulk of software development costs are the salaries of software engineers and other development team members. It depends on the project complexity, but we can give approximate prices to specialists in IoT solutions:

RoleRate
Business analyst$40-$63
Architect$50-$77
Project manager$45-$70
Junior engineer$25-$42
Middle engineer$35-$60
Senior engineer$55-$90
Junior QA$25-$42
Middle QA$30-$49
Senior QA$40-$63
UI/UX designer$35-$56

If you’re building an in-house team, be sure to factor in the costs of hiring and recruiting new tech talent. If you are leaning towards outsourcing software development, the price will include hourly developer wages plus vendor fees.

Why Relevant Software?

Since Relevant is an experienced IoT and healthcare software company, we are well versed in the rigorous requirements of developing technical solutions for healthcare providers. Our projects in this area are already successfully operating in the market and have excellent reviews. Including:

  • Össur – an application to facilitate the ordering of individual prostheses and orthoses;
  • Sensor Innovation – a real-time data monitoring and alerting platform.
  • Airthings – web dashboard for collecting, processing, and visualizing data from IoT devices in real-time.

If you want to build an efficient, reliable, and scalable IoMT solution for remote patient monitoring, please contact us. Our experienced team will develop remote patient monitoring software that meets your organization’s and users’ needs.

Wrapping up

Proper planning and implementation of technologies such as remote patient monitoring platforms will guarantee the quality of healthcare services, help attract patients and optimize treatment processes while reducing the associated costs. That is more than a modern approach to healthcare, which is not only convenient for doctors and patients but can even save lives!

If you want to develop remote patient monitoring software or hire a software development team, contact us and get answers to your questions.

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Written by
Product Manager at Relevant Software
For more than 6 years, I've been working as Business Analyst and Product Manager at Relevant. I'm responsible for requirements engineering and management and solution implementation control.

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