Healthcare Using Telephone and Telemonitoring Benefits Heart Failure Patients

by Dr. Sania Siddiqui on  August 16, 2010 at 6:25 PM Health In Focus
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What is Telemonitoring?

Telemonitoring is a medical practice in which patients are being monitored within the comforts of their home by their healthcare provider through various electronic devices.
 Healthcare Using Telephone and Telemonitoring Benefits Heart Failure Patients
Healthcare Using Telephone and Telemonitoring Benefits Heart Failure Patients

Regular monitoring allows early detection of apparent changes in the health status; averting a chronic condition to get out of hand.

How Telephone and Telemonitoring Works?

In structured telephone assistance, patients provide their vital data, such as weight, blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose, and HbA1c over the telephone, whereas in telemonitoring, the data transmission is usually wireless, digital, or Bluetooth to their concerned clinician.

Telemonitoring in Heart Patients

For heart patients, telemonitoring has emerged as a boon. It has made their lives a lot easier and saved them from unnecessary commuting to hospitals for monitoring their findings on a day-to-day basis. 

According to Cochrane Systematic Reviews, a team of international researchers stated that remote monitoring over the telephone or other wireless technologies reduces deaths and hospitalizations to a large extent. In the long run, it can also provide definite benefits in slashing down healthcare costs and increases life expectancy. 

Telemonitoring is particularly effective in patents with heart diseases as it is pivotal to consistently observe their heart rhythm on a regular basis.

Related Studies

Sally Inglis, PhD, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia and her colleagues at the center reported the findings in Cochrane Reviews regarding the effectiveness of structured telemonitoring in the patients with chronic heart failure. 

The review included studies which involved approximately 9,500 participants and compared both of these technologies in against with the routine care for patients suffering with chronic heart failure.  

During the study, telemonitoring was found to be effective in reducing mortality in patients with chronic heart failure. However, no significant benefit was sighted with structured telephone support on mortality for CHF patients in these trials. 

The results are looking promising as after using both the technologies, a significant drop in the number of hospitalizations due to the worsening of heart failure has been noticed. 

Dr. Sally Inglis further stated that, "These technologies can provide specialized care to a large number of patients who otherwise may have limited access to this type of healthcare."  

According to the data collected for the study, hospitalizations due to heart failure were 164 per 1000 with structured telephone support as compared to 213 in a control group, and 225 per 1000 with telemonitoring as compared to 285 in a control group.  

"More work is required on the cost-effectiveness of telemonitoring to establish the best business models. These may vary depending on the local organization of health services. The optimal duration of monitoring has not yet been addressed" said Dr. Inglis.

Source: Medindia

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