What if there was an easier, faster way to help patients with mental health conditions get the support they deserve? Luckily, with the help of remote patient monitoring, there is. While many discussions around telehealth and digital care focus on physical health conditions, there are plenty of opportunities to use remote patient monitoring for mental health treatment, as well.

How to Use Monitoring for Mental Health Care Effectively

What Does Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Entail?

Remote patient monitoring is a digital health practice that uses technological devices to collect patient health data and transmit it to their physicians in real-time.

RPM provides physicians with updates on a patient’s behaviors, mental health status, and physiological indicators outside of a traditional healthcare setting. In most cases, using RPM for mental health means using an appropriate wearable device that tracks key vitals relevant to a patient’s care plan.

RTM vs. RPM for Mental Health

While RPM has many uses for mental health professionals, it’s not to be confused withremote therapeutic monitoring (RTM). Don’t be fooled by their similar names; RTM and RPM are different practices, and they each have specific goals and definitions.

Remote patient monitoring devices and systems collect physiological data, but remote therapeutic monitoring focuses on – you guessed it – non-physiological data. Both may have their place in a robust mental health care plan, but our discussion centers around how physical health information can aid providers in providing quality care.

How RPM for Mental Health Works

With the right RPM tools in place, mental health professionals can offer better quality treatment, more proactive care, and tailored solutions to patient needs.

Research into how certain RPM devices – like wearables and sensors – canimpact mental health treatment has primarily focused on care for mood disorders. Some studies show that monitoring physiological health data can help providers anticipate challenges before they arise, like a surge in the number of panic attacks a patient experiences.

However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other conditions or use cases in which RPM can benefit patients and providers.

Depending on the patient and their needs, RPM can help by cutting down on the need for in-person care. Instead of needing to regularly stop by for vital checks, a patient taking medication for their mental health needs can simply be monitored from afar. Physicians can spot warning signs, like a consistent rise in blood pressure, and take action sooner rather than later.

Overall, remote patient monitoring for mental health care makes a difference by giving physicians an inside look at a patient’s daily life. Long-term data is far more meaningful than sporadic and singular collections of information.

Examples of Remote Patient Monitoring Devices to Consider

Some of the most common examples of remote patient monitoring devices that can be used during mental health treatment include:

  • Wearable health monitoring devices and activity trackers. Smartwatches, fitness bands, and similar devices monitor changes that might be prompted by certain mental health challenges. They can keep track of physical activity levels, sleep patterns, heart rate, and more.
  • Smart scales. Tracking weight and measuring body composition can be useful when treating eating disorders or similar conditions.
  • Biofeedback devices. These tools can collect valuable data like heart rate variability and skin conductivity, which may be relevant for patients with anxiety disorders.
  • Mobile health apps and platforms. Patients can use mobile apps to track mood changes, log medication use, and offer other important updates to their providers.

RPM in Psychiatry

One area of mental health care that’s particularly well-suited to RPM is psychiatry. Early research shows thatRPM has a lot of potential for psychiatric professionals, specifically when it comes to predicting symptoms and treatment responses. Understanding what’s going on beneath the surface, so to speak, allows psychiatric providers to better tweak their care plans to support patients when they need it most.

How to Choose the Right RPM for Mental Health Treatment

Regardless of the type of RPM device or system you’d like to use, it’s important to make sure you choose a partner who will work with you through each step of the process. Implementing your new tools can be tricky, but it’s up to providers, patients, and staff members alike to work together to bring their potential to life.

Simplify the process of finding the rightRPM devices and get access to ongoing support by working with CoachCare. We’ll help you tackle everything from training to monitoring patient data over time so that you can hit the ground running with your digital health initiatives.

Ready to get started?Schedule a demo today to learn more about our platform and RPM solutions.