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Role of Quality Engineering in Enabling Remote Patient Monitoring and Augmenting Patient Experience

Table of Contents

Remote patient monitoring is a booming market globally. It is expected to reach USD 25.28 bn in the US by 2028 at a CAGR of 11.16%. The patient monitoring market in India is estimated to grow from USD 1.63 billion in 2023 to USD 2.36 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 7.67%. The story remains the same for the rest of the world, too.

Increasing instances of chronic diseases, sedentary lifestyle choices, enhanced preference for home and remote monitoring, and a worldwide increase in the geriatric population – are propelling vast growth in this segment.

Naturally, an increased growth potential will also attract more competition. But what will define the success of the leaders from the laggards is:

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While this requires stakeholders to develop feasible innovations to make this all work together, in this blog post, we will focus on how quality engineering can ensure remote patient monitoring (RPM) provides a delighted patient experience. 

For a rewarding patient experience, the following capabilities must be verified in RPM solutions:

  1. Reliability of performance
  2. Data security
  3. Seamless interoperability and compatibility

Quality engineering (QE) helps define and maintain quality standards across the board by standardizing processes and controls, accelerating the pace and volume of testing, and providing valuable real-time insights for further improvement and shareable resources for better cross-functional collaboration.

QE establishes the ground rules of quality assurance, introduces continuous monitoring, and provides extensive documentation for ingraining quality in RPM at every step. The result is a seamless user experience across the board.

Let us go deeper into how QE enables each of the tenets of quality patient experience:

Reliability of Performance

Quality engineering ensures the reliability of RPM solutions by

– Creating rigorous protocols for functional, performance, and security assessments,
– Conducting continuous testing and monitoring,
– Expediting the speed and volume of testing through automation

QE guidelines ensure a comprehensive validation of features, repetitive testing of every update and its integration with the larger product and a strict adherence to industry standards of quality and performance. Such rigorous measures prevent any potential issue resulting in breakdowns or errors post-production.

Continuous testing and monitoring of processes, tools, environment, and documentation validate that quality assurance methodologies align with the dynamic business and product requirements.

Automated testing accelerates testing productivity by speeding up repetitive tests and a high accuracy rate. Test automation also brings greater consistency in testing procedures and results, minimizing manual errors and augmenting the standardization of processes and output.

By prioritizing these aspects, QE ingrains robust quality and delivers a strong foundation for a dependable and secure remote patient monitoring experience for end users.

As a result, your patient experiences an interaction that performs glitch-free, can operate under varying network conditions, and enables seamless and timely data transfer – ideal tenets of a perfect patient experience.

Data Security

Healthcare systems are one of the easiest targets of data theft online. The reasons for this are the rich collection of sensitive patient data that these systems store and the many security loopholes that go undetected, only to be exploited later.

Remote patient monitoring works on the principle that physiological data transfer happens from patients to physicians, who analyze, monitor, and screen it to keep a tab on the patient’s health condition and keep the data in records for future reference.

The hero in this story is Patient Data, and what enables this entire cycle is the smooth and secure transfer of this data – unadulterated and safe.

What does this have to do with patient experience? Patients share their health data with their healthcare providers along with an implicit trust. Once this trust is breached, patients find it hard to share any other information and doubt your technological capabilities as a healthcare provider. The situation also undermines the trust of the individuals in your healthcare services.

Quality engineering is critical in ensuring this data’s safety and the entire pathway’s security through encryption, stringent access controls and compliance with data privacy regulations.

Tests like penetration testing and vulnerability assessments identify potential vulnerabilities early in the development cycle.

Continuous monitoring of the app’s infrastructure and regular security updates reduce emerging threats. Authentication protocols, secure data transmission, and encrypted storage mechanisms secure against unauthorized access. Adherence to industry best practices in security ensures a robust defense against potential breaches.

Using a resilient and comprehensive testing framework, quality engineering ensures the integrity, confidentiality, and security of the data and the environments in remote patient monitoring systems.

Interoperability and Compatibility Testing

Imagine an emergency where a chronic health patient staying miles away from his(her) healthcare provider needs to share his(her) health data with the physician for an urgent recommendation. On the other hand, the healthcare provider recently upgraded their RPM solutions with inadequate testing coverage for interoperability. As a result, the patient constantly gets an error message while trying to share his(or her) data. Whereas the upgraded solution shows no fault on the provider’s end, the patient cannot connect. In real life, such a situation could have disastrous consequences.

While compatibility allows an application to operate across different combinations of browsers, OS, and devices, interoperability lets diverse systems interact and exchange data seamlessly. For RPM solutions to work efficiently, both interoperability and compatibility quotient must be high.

Quality engineering in remote patient monitoring ensures compatibility and interoperability by conducting comprehensive testing across diverse devices, platforms and communication protocols.

The testing frameworks rigorously validate the system’s ability to function seamlessly with various sensors, wearables, and healthcare devices. Compatibility testing ensures proper functioning on different operating systems and browsers, promoting a consistent user experience.

Interoperability is assured through assessing the data exchange formats and validating healthcare interoperability standards, such as HL7 and FHIR.

Robust testing of data integration and APIs ensures that the RPM systems can seamlessly exchange information with electronic health records and other healthcare systems. This meticulous quality engineering approach guarantees a reliable and interconnected remote patient monitoring environment.

Your patient will never be able to differentiate between the two terms. Neither would they be keen to know what technological pieces come together to make RPM work. For them, you’re the front face of this revolutionary technology. So, whatever their experience, you will be accountable.

RPM holds immense potential for more convenient services for patients and greater efficiency and profitability for providers. The only caveat here for providers is enabling a good patient experience.

A McKinsey report states that satisfied patients are 28% less likely to switch providers. The study reveals that patient loyalty to healthcare services is not solely determined by improved health outcomes or lower healthcare costs. Good patient experience is directly linked with improved profitability.

If you are planning to implement RPM solutions as part of your healthcare delivery, ensure you have the required quality assurance practices to validate its resilience and user experience.

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