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Caregiving Chronicles


Caregiving Chronicles will present news and analysis on caregiving topics in MetroWest and around the world, in-depth Q&As with experts in fields related to caregiving and updates and announcements about caregiving resources available in MetroWest from Program Director Douglas Flynn.

How 21st century technology is streamlining life for the 20th century generations
By DebraMcDonagh / August 28, 2019

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM). 

What is it and who does it help?

When my dad was in the late stages of his illness, it was not easy for him to get to frequent doctor visits without a lot of coordination and support.  Although he was in a visiting nurse program, his vitals needed around the clock monitoring. My mom, who was his primary caregiver, wanted to honor his wish to live out his life at home but was concerned about his health between nurse visits. 

We then learned about remote patient monitoring (RPM). RPM enabled his healthcare providers to stay informed about his vitals throughout the day to monitor changes that may have required immediate attention. 

Initially, my mom, who is in her 80's and afraid of technology, was worried about being able to use it. However, both of my parents already learned how to monitor my dad's pulse, blood pressure, and glucose at home.  Once they learned that remote patient monitoring meant connecting these monitoring devices via wireless to their designated medical providers, they embraced RPM. 

Trained personnel, both nurses and administrative support, made in-person visits to set it up and make sure my parents were comfortable with how to use it. The use of this technology provided so much peace of mind to my parents during a very emotional time for them and enabled my mom to be able to schedule less "in-person" doctor visits without worry.  
RPM technology can range from handheld medical devices to online platforms that allow patients to input data.   [Source: TechTarget ] 
A few examples include:
  • Glucose meters for patients with diabetes
  • Heart rate or blood pressure monitors
  • Continuous surveillance monitors that can locate patients with conditions like dementia and alert healthcare professionals of an event like a fall
  • Remote infertility treatment and monitoring
  • At-home tests that can keep substance abuse patients accountable for and on track with their goals
  • Caloric intake or diet logging programs
When searching for online links to provide you with more details about remote patient monitoring, it became apparent that the best definitions come from the manufactures selling this technology.  But here are two articles that provide an overview of remote patient monitoring and telehealth in general (without a sales pitch). 

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BayPath Elder Services, Inc

The BayPath Family Caregiver Support Program and has been made possible by funding from the Older Americans Act as granted by Executive Office of Elder Affairs. Participants may make a voluntary donation toward the cost of this federally funded service. Click here for more information. was originally made possible, in part, by generous grants from the MetroWest Health Foundation. Additional funding support was graciously donated by Avidia Bank from 2018 – 2021.

Thank you, MetroWest Health Foundation and Avidia Bank, for enabling BayPath Elder Services to provide support and resources to family caregivers.