Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a practice that enables healthcare providers to remotely track and monitor patients’ health and conditions outside traditional clinical settings, like their homes.
Dr. Abejirinde and her team recently won a $10,000 Collaboration Starter Grant from Transform HF, an initiative based at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research that aims to improve access to quality heart failure care.
With this grant, they are looking to transform the current approach to RPM in Canada.
Dr. Abejirinde spoke about the project and her plans to inform the growing demand for RPM use in our healthcare system.
Why is it important to improve the RPM experience?
The pandemic was eye-opening – it showed how much of a deficit there was in the healthcare system and we can leverage technology to help bridge the gaps. There is growing demand for the use of remote monitoring and associated models of care. Data shows that 47 per cent of Canadians are interested in using RPM to manage chronic conditions, but only 6 per cent have ever used a RPM program.
How do you plan to utilize the grant funds to advance RPM here and in other provinces?
RPM is currently designed, implemented, and evaluated from a disease-focused pathway. We have RPM for diabetes, for COVID-19, for congestive heart failure, the list goes on. But a person is more than their disease. One person could have both diabetes and hypertension – it doesn’t make sense to have different platforms for a single person. Furthermore, there is a growing number of people who have more than two chronic conditions and a need for equity-enhancing RPM platforms that address multiple clinical needs.
We want to change the narrative by putting the person at the centre of the technological intervention.
How will this project be patient-centred?
The first goal is to develop disease-agnostic typologies of RPM and use those typologies to inform how we can design RPM differently.
The second goal is to dispel myths. One of the myths is that RPM is vastly improving access to healthcare, especially for people in remote and marginalized communities. We’ll be conducting an equity analysis to determine whether and how these programs have been embedding equity into their RPM.
What excites you most about this project?
I’m most excited to see people who are passionate about health system transformation come together to use their skills and expertise to revolutionize healthcare.
Our team is interdisciplinary – including a patient with lived experiences of heart failure and RPM, a clinician and health system administrator, researchers, and a human factors engineer. We’re bringing all these lenses together to inform how we can re-design health systems in an equitable, patient-centred way. This type of collaboration is already a win!
Thank you Dr. Abejirinde – and congratulations!