A Look at the Telehealth & RPM Ecosystem - Cover

A Look at the Telehealth & RPM Ecosystem

The beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic spurred a significant increase in usage of telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) solutions. In the years since, healthcare organizations have continued to examine their adoption of and strategies surrounding these solutions. Telehealth and RPM are continually developing, and customers also need to consider factors like value-based care, staffing shortages, and the need to make care delivery more flexible and strategic.

Throughout 2023, KLAS has published multiple telehealth/RPM reports (including the Telehealth Decision Insights report and the RPM performance report) to help healthcare organizations as they make purchase decisions. Most recently, KLAS released the 2023 Telehealth and RPM Ecosystem report, which provides a comprehensive look at the vendors who play in these areas and what capabilities they offer. (Note: In contrast to most KLAS reports, the Ecosystem report includes no validated performance data.) Read on for an overview of this report.

What Is the Current State of Telehealth and RPM?

Because the telehealth and RPM technology spaces are bursting with varying types of offerings, KLAS asked vendors who provide telehealth and RPM solutions to self-report the capabilities they offer. We did this to provide clarity around what options exist for healthcare organizations. Additionally, to help provide context around what organizations can expect from these solutions, KLAS created definitions for the capabilities commonly available in telehealth and RPM technology as listed below.

Types of Telehealth & Remote Patient Monitoring Capabilities

  • Delivery: Delivery models and types of care a solution can be sued for (e.g., inpatient care, home health)
  • Technology and connectivity: Methods and tools for delivering care to patients (e.g., features, hardware, devices)
  • Workflow and content: Organization and patient workflow capabilities (clinical and administrative) and ways to deliver clinical content
  • Integration: Capabilities surrounding integration with key systems (mainly EHRs), support of interoperability standards, and data flow (bidirectional vs. unidirectional)

The telehealth and RPM solutions that KLAS included in this year’s ecosystem reflect healthcare organizations’ interest in particular areas. It’s important to note that, since the 2021 Telehealth Ecosystem report, the way KLAS categorizes telehealth and RPM has changed. In prior years, RPM was included in the telehealth survey, but now telehealth and RPM solutions are surveyed separately in KLAS research. We will continue to monitor and validate solutions in the RPM market and may break out research into further subcategories depending on market interest.

Additionally, this 2023 ecosystem has expanded to include more telehealth and RPM technologies. For example, KLAS research now includes vendors who provide virtual sitting and nursing technology. Previously, virtual sitting and nursing was not a KLAS-monitored segment, and its inclusion in the new report reflects the market’s growing interest in this software. These solutions enable clinicians to remotely observe patients and remotely perform tasks (e.g., discharge planning, documentation) in an effort to prevent adverse patient events and scale clinician capacity. The KLAS website now has a webpage to show performance data for virtual sitting and nursing solutions, and we will recently published a report on this segment as well.

types of telehealth and remote patient monitoring vendors

How Will Telehealth and RPM Continue to Evolve?

Telehealth and RPM usage at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic was urged by necessity, and now provider organizations are trying to figure out the right strategy for these technologies that meets patient needs as well as regulatory needs. Telehealth and RPM can inarguably provide many benefits (e.g., convenience for patients, cost savings, reduced staffing burdens), but it will take time for provider organizations and HIT vendors to determine which technologies are possible, which are most useful, and—ultimately—which are needed for patients and operations to be healthy and successful. Consequently, the technologies that KLAS monitors will continue to expand and shift going forward.

We anticipate doing deeper research into currently measured solutions, and we also plan to investigate what integration and use cases look like for adopting customers. In addition to virtual sitting and nursing technology, we are looking to begin research in several other telehealth/RPM areas—such areas include physician services (KLAS plans to start collecting performance data for this segment by the end of 2023), hospital-at-home technology, and patient engagement–related conversational AI.

Considering Specific Needs

With all the solution options that exist in the telehealth and RPM spaces, healthcare organizations need to carefully consider which solutions will best fit their needs and the needs of their patients. For comprehensive breakouts of what areas vendors play in as well as self-reported information on the breadth and depth of their solutions’ capabilities, read the 2023 Telehealth & Remote Patient Monitoring Ecosystem report. (KLAS also recently published the 2023 Patient Engagement Ecosystem report, which talks about many of the vendors featured in the telehealth and RPM ecosystem.)

If readers would like to provide feedback on their telehealth/RPM solution or suggest new areas for KLAS to research, please share your experience with KLAS.

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