A new study seems to cast doubts about telemonitoring savings.

Remote monitoring technology has been an effective tool for senior living administrators in keeping residents safe and healthy. One group of nursing homes has shown just how effective, with remote monitoring tools that reduced residents’ doctor’s visits, ambulance trips and hospital admissions.

A remote monitoring system from Docobo, funded by England’s National Health Service and used in 30 nursing homes and 1,600 beds in Black Country, England, led to an 18% reduction in hospital admissions, a 9% reduction in hospital readmissions and a 12% reduction in ambulance trips.

Nursing home staff used tablet devices linked to blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters and thermometers to regularly record residents’ vital signs. Those records were then given to clinicians who gave advice, monitored for gradual deterioration and resolved issues quickly, reducing the need for hospital visits and ambulance trips.

The technology also saves on administrative work and can reduce overall general doctor’s visits. Staff answered a set of questions for each resident to build a picture of their overall health, and if vital signs fell below these benchmarks, an alert was sent. Then, staff immediately took action with responses that could all be done remotely, such as increasing resident observations, adjusting medications or prescribing a new medication.

“The benefits are huge,” Mike Hastings, digital director for the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board, told the Express & Star. “Both patients and family members can be reassured that their health is being monitored, and clinicians can pick up any health concerns early to reduce deterioration.”

In the US, senior living operators are embracing similar technologies to improve resident care. For instance, a wearable AI patch monitors health factors such as speech, neck movement and touch, plus breathing and heart rates. AI-based devices also are being used to monitor residents’ health via biometrics and motion sensors.