Healthcare context: What is the "P" in RPM?
When posed this question, answer that rolls off the tongue is "Patient", with an implied "of course". If you stop there, then it seems like a valid answer. Case closed. Move onto the next distraction that media throws at us.
I am the COO of Infiniwell, a SaaS company that is busy building an adaptor between the current (old) brick and mortar of hospitals vs. "care at home" (new) with prevention focus. Please note: When I say "care at home", I am not implying setting up a hospital grade room inside a home. I am (and we at Infiniwell are), more about connecting the doctor and patient in time while still separated by distance and with fore warnings built into the system.
Again, we are not implying just tele-health (video calls) or pure phone calls. Those are needed and have really helped us in COVID-19 times. What I am talking about the "before" part. What before part? Hang on.
Ok. Back to the original question and its answer - the proper answer would be "prospective patient". RPM should be Remote Prospective-patient Monitoring. This is a big deal. If you are with me till now, you are info a huge reveal.
A patient, according to the US medical coding system, is someone who is covered under some code and is receiving care. Almost all of the care is provided inside of brick and mortar hospitals and clinics. At the end of the procedure, the patient is "discharged" / "checked-out" and sent home. This is the transition from "patient" to "consumer" or "future patient" or "prospective patient". Hospitals lost a customer.
RPM companies (largely due to the 4 CPT codes that were introduced in Jan 2020) started to "monitor" the "prospective Patient Population" - let us the acronym PP. When a PP shows degrade past a point, the PP needs to be transitioned to a P (check-in) so the USD 3.8T industry can start to take care of their disease.
Thus RPM programs are predominantly concentrated on "activating the patient" and "improving patient stickiness". Very little is said about "improving patient outcomes" and certainly nothing about true prevention.
That is what INFINIWELL (we/us) is trying to change. We are trying to add the paradigm, using technology of today (and tomorrow), so algorithms can detect episodes before they happen - we are just trying to pull the detection window in by 10 minutes. For that we need access to data - in-realtime. This is the "before" part we talked about earlier.
Yes, we "monitor" the real-patient at a distance but our aim is about preventing degrades before they escalate. Industry is not ready for it yet but we have no choice,. According to CMS studies, cost of healthcare is increasing at an average of 6% a year. That means your healthcare costs (what gets docked from your paycheck) will go from 20% to 40% in about 10 years. That is unsustainable.
Call a spade a spade. Call a customer a customer... as they really want to stay and home and be well (or at least less sick).