Physician enthusiasm about RPM tools is increasing—especially for care and efficiency, a report finds

The trend: Remote patient monitoring (RPM) adoption more than doubled from 2016 to 2022, per the September 2022 American Medical Association Digital AMA Health Research report.

  • 53% of physicians showed enthusiasm about using remote monitoring devices, compared with 50% in 2019 and 45% in 2016.
  • And their adoption of RPM devices grew from 12% in 2016 to 30% in 2022.
  • Key motivation for using digital health tools in tasks like RPM included greater work efficiency in addition to improving care through remote monitoring, according to the AMA report.

Improving care vs. boosting efficiency: The AMA survey distinguishes between RPM of devices for efficiency vs. devices that improve care.

  • Devices such as thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, and scales increase efficiency by recording readings automatically so physicians don’t have to type them. Forty-eight percent of physicians showed enthusiasm about RPM for efficiency compared with 45% in 2016.
  • RPM devices for care like weight, blood pressure, and glucose monitors help with chronic disease. Fifty-three percent of physicians are enthusiastic about using RPM for care compared with 45% in 2016.

Zooming out: Other research also shows growing interest in RPM.

  • About 76% of health execs said they plan to use RPM in the next two years, according to a Sage Growth Partners survey of 100 physicians and healthcare execs.

The benefits: RPM can help keep patients out of the hospital and manage readmissions. And using the tools can bring efficiencies to practice management, even though more doctors see their value for improving care. That’s because heart rate monitors, sleep monitors, and other internet-connected health management devices can automatically share data with the prescribing provider.

The counterpoint: Even though doctors see efficiency as a benefit of RPM, they’re struggling with finding the resources to use these tools.

  • More than half (55%) of practices said they were using three to five employees to manage RPM, per the Sage Growth Partners survey.
  • Just 20% of adults say they have been recommended or prescribed an RPM device, per a Sony Network Communications study.

What’s next? Though both physicians and patients show they’re enthusiastic about RPM devices, RPM device prescriptions are lagging behind these positive sentiments. More doctors could prescribe RPM devices such as blood pressure cuffs, pulse oximeters, and continuous glucose meters so they can better manage patient data and also use it during telehealth sessions. Plus, patients will get a better handle on chronic conditions.

Go deeper: Read more about RPM trends in our report US Remote Patient Monitoring Forecast 2021.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Digital Health Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the healthcare industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.