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Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)

Remote Patient Monitoring: What Devices Does ThoroughCare Support?

August 3rd, 2021 | 7 min. read



Content Team

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ThoroughCare’s care coordination software simplifies Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)

But, what RPM devices do we support? After all, there are countless types of hardware and features. There are Fitbits and wearable heart monitors. Bluetooth-enabled scales. Glucose monitors. You can get lost in the options.

Having helped more than 600 clinics and physician practices maximize the value of Medicare’s preventive health programs, we’ve made finding the correct RPM devices easy.

In this article, we’ll review some of the common devices available, what RPM hardware ThoroughCare supports, and their cost to you. 

The 4 Most Common Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Devices

The devices you select will depend on your patients and their needs

But, in general, what is available? 

Below, we provide an overview of a few of the most commonly used RPM devices.

1. Blood Pressure Monitor

Blood pressure monitors are one of the most often used.

They make it easy for patients to calculate their heart rate and blood flow.

They also provide ongoing virtual monitoring of a patient’s blood pressure and allow for better treatment of hypertension. 

The avoidance of “white-coat syndrome,” where blood pressure numbers may increase due to the stress patients experience when visiting a practitioner in-office, is an added benefit.

2. Digital Scales

Digital scales for RPM programs are great tools to closely monitor a patient’s health status. 

For example, patients with heart issues need their weight monitored closely, as even an increase of a few pounds could impact medication changes or prompt an office visit.

With daily readings from scales, providers can better adapt their care to meet the patient’s needs and goals.

3. Blood Glucose Monitor

Monitoring blood glucose can be extremely important in keeping diabetes patients happy and healthy. 

Due to the nature of diabetes, patients may not experience symptoms until they reach hypoglycemia (glucose levels too low) or hyperglycemia (glucose levels too high)

Leaving that untreated can lead to life-threatening conditions.

There are a variety of blood glucose monitors on the market, some of which don’t even require the patient to draw blood. 

Patients using blood glucose monitors can transmit their data directly to providers, allowing for around-the-clock monitoring of their levels to detect any alarming changes.

4. Pulse Oximeter

A pulse oximeter is used to measure a patient’s oxygen saturation level or the oxygen levels in their blood. 

The device can instantly detect even the slightest changes in how oxygen is being delivered throughout the patient’s body.

Pulse oximeters can be used to help manage any condition that can affect blood oxygen levels, including asthma, pneumonia, heart disease, and more.

What RPM Devices Does ThoroughCare Support?

Our platform synchronizes with both cellular and Internet or Bluetooth-enabled devices.

We also offer a smartphone application to collect patient vitals.  

Cellular RPM Devices

For cellular options, we integrate with three device manufacturers

They are very easy to set up. The patient does not need to have the Internet, a smartphone, or email. And they all come pre-configured to our software. We support:

  • BodyTrace Blood Pressure Monitor
  • BodyTrace Weight Scale
  • SmartMeter iGlucose Glucometer (w/200 testing strips)
  • SmartMeter iBloodPressure Monitor
  • SmartMeter iScale
  • SmartMeter iPulseOx
  • Tenovi Scale
  • Tenovi Blood Pressure Monitor
  • Tenovi Blood Glucose Meter
  • Tenovi Pulse Oximeter

Internet or Bluetooth-enabled Devices

ThoroughCare also connects to more than 400 other devices through our partner, Validic

Validic seamlessly and securely transfers your patient’s health data to ThoroughCare. 

If a patient already owns any of the listed RPM devices that support a CLOUD connection type, they can sync it to their smartphone and register it on the device manufacturer’s website. 

After this, they can authorize ThoroughCare to have access to their data. 

Remote Vitals App

With the ThoroughCare mobile app, patients can capture vitals using only their smartphone camera. 

It’s as easy as taking a selfie. 

Measurements include heart rate, oxygen saturation, heart rate variability, and (coming soon) blood pressure and body temperature.

The app is free to download, but there’s a fee of $7 per patient to enable remote vital capture.

Should I Buy or Lease an RPM Device?

As a medical provider, you can either buy or lease RPM devices. 

There are pros and cons to each approach, but neither is incorrect.

It just depends on what best suits your practice. 

For instance, do you prefer a low up-front cost, or do you wish to avoid lengthy lease contracts?

For instance, leasing your devices provides flexibility, while buying your devices will amount to a smaller overall cost

Either way, you should answer this question for yourself as you research RPM options and best practices. Our Learning Center goes into more detail about the buy versus lease conversation

What Does ThoroughCare Charge for RPM Devices?

Of the four integrated, cellular devices we support, you can buy or lease the BodyTrace options directly from ThoroughCare. Cellular fees are included in the price. Our prices are ...

For purchase:

  • $150 per device

For lease:

  • 6 payments of $30 ($180 total); or
  • 12 payments of $20 ($240 total)

Shipping is $8 per device when it is sent to you, the provider. To ship a device directly to your patient, the cost is $16 per device. Taxes apply to orders in New York or California. 

SmartMeter devices must be purchased directly through the manufacturer.

It’s important to note that, regardless of which option you choose, it will ultimately pay for itself. 

Apart from the monthly reimbursement for RPM services (an average of $54 for 20 minutes of non-face-to-face patient interaction), Medicare also pays an average of $65 per month for the provided device with daily monitoring.

Practices usually recover the cost of their devices within the first few months.

Our guide to RPM extensively covers what you need to know about reimbursements and billing.

Software Streamlines RPM Data Collection

Once your patients are “plugged in,” their devices will transmit data automatically. 

But where will that information go? 

Care coordination software can collect and help analyze it through data visualizations and analytics. 

This technology is not required to offer RPM to your patients, but without it, you’ll miss the key value of the program. With a holistic overview of your patient's health, you’ll have greater insight and make stronger decisions.

ThoroughCare emphasizes the automation of these processes with accurate and secure data collection. We’ve also designed our software to be clinician-friendly to be the most efficient. 

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