Top 5 Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Remote Patient Monitoring

The remote patient monitoring market is on the fast lane with predictions placing it at a market value of over 1.3 billion. The future certainly is looking up for remote patient monitoring, but being a relatively new technology, it’s not without its challenges. Connectivity issues and other factors can get in the way and significantly impact the success or reliability of remote patient monitoring solutions. Our article today essentially takes a look at what could go wrong and also recommends possible solutions to get around some of them. Here are the top five factors that largely determine the effectiveness of any RPM program.

1. Battery Life of RPM Devices

Remote patient monitoring technologies are usually fueled by a mobile power source, typically a battery. For the most part, such power sources afford a system runtime of a couple of days, the exact duration of service dependent on unique factors such as:

  • The effect of temperature and environmental conditions
  • Recharge rate and voltage
  • DoD effect (Depth of discharge)
  • Frequency of device use
  • Specific nature of patient wearables, among others (e.g. blood pressure monitors can provide service for about 48 hours while some heart rate monitors have enough juice for over 360 hours)

When batteries are not very reliable, this can mean continual interruptions of chronic care. While the diagnostic blackouts can be in the region of seconds or minutes, this is surely more than enough time for adverse events to occur and dissipate without a trace. The solution to this challenge may lie in tapping into newer technologies and materials that can create long-life, high-capacity batteries.

2. Internet Availability or Access

Access to the internet is a key factor that also has a large say on the efficacy of remote patient monitoring solutions. While hospitals, practices, and care facilities typically have the resources and capability to keep their program up and running, the same cannot be said of patients, more so RPM consumers who live in rural areas. 

Statistics by Oberlo estimate that more than 34% of the global population lacks Internet access. This figure gets much higher across rural homes, with another report revealing that 46 million people from rural areas don’t have access to the Internet. 

Some of the consequences of limited internet access or poor cellular connectivity can include a hindrance to RPM implementation. Additionally, these issues can also limit scalability thus restricting the number of patients who may benefit from the program.

Of course, boosting access to the internet, and thereby RPM services is reliant upon government intervention in terms of infrastructural development. Nevertheless, RPM providers on their part can get around poor connectivity issues by imploring cutting-edge solutions such as 5G.

3. Patient Non-Compliance and Non-Adherence

Patient non-compliance can greatly undermine the effectiveness of the remote patient monitoring plan. It generally refers to patients willingly, for whatever reason, disregarding treatment courses, protocols, and even medication. On the other hand, non-adherence references a similar habit, but the crucial difference is that the patient may be doing so unintentionally. 

Regardless, both result in less accurate results, meaning a lower diagnostic yield. That’s because patients are likely to not abide by measurement protocols or keep up with them as often as is necessary. Fortunately, patient non-compliance and non-adherence in remote patient monitoring are challenges physicians can easily solve with the right approach. Some strategies for resolving both of these issues include:

  • Patient reminders that urge patient action. Preferably, these reminders should be automated for convenience’s sake
  • Personalizing care through audio-visual communication features
  • Providing automated feedback that validates and recognizes the patient’s effort
  • Periodic follow-up efforts by the care team
  • Demonstrating patient progress to spur motivation

4. Software Learning Curve

Doctors may not hit it off right out of the gate with remote patient monitoring solutions. That’s totally normal and expected whenever a new technological innovation is injected into any clinical workflow. Clinicians may need time to wrap their heads around the bolts and nuts of how it all works. During this learning phase, RPM’s full potential might not be realized. 

However, the good thing about this problem is that it is usually a transient issue, which facilities can easily get over. Some remote patient monitoring providers offer personnel training for their solutions, coupled with 24/7 physician support to speed up this process. For the most part, though, good RPM platforms usually have a smooth learning curve that shouldn’t be a problem for technicians. 

Patients too will also require education about using the new technology. The onus for this training often falls on their physicians who can do so via live conferencing technology, although some RPM companies can also take the lead in patient education as well.

5. Systems Integration

Not all clinical workflows rely on the latest technology, particularly in terms of EHR or EMR systems. The incompatibility of legacy systems with some RPM technologies can mean massive overhauls or having to duplicate databases from scratch before the new system can get moving. 

Outdated software stacks continue to hold back many clinical workflows from even implementing remote patient monitoring programs in the first place. This is further compounded by the lack of software standardization across healthcare systems around the world. 

The solution to this problem is usually third-party software go-betweens or bridges. Advisably, it’s prudent to go with an RPM provider that affords out-of-the-box solutions with wide versatility in terms of compatibility with EMRs. Here at Aura Health, for instance, our remote patient monitoring ensures compatibility with any EMR system and is further customizable to meet your institution’s requirements in terms of policies. 


To make remote patient monitoring even more effective, there also needs to be strong action taken toward ensuring data accuracy and security. That may entail robust data management protocols and also technology-aided data processing to help physicians derive key insights from large data, with such data sets affording the risk of being overwhelming. Nonetheless, every new technology has its ups and downs and RPM is no exception. The good thing is that many of the factors that affect RPM effectiveness can be readily solved with commitment and innovation. Contact Aura Health today for the best-in-class remote patient monitoring services.