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AHA: Remote Monitoring Boosts Heart Failure Outcomes

Monitoring lowers rates of hospital re-admission and visits to the emergency department

FRIDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Adding to previous studies showing that remote monitoring improves outcomes in homebound patients with heart failure, remote monitoring can also benefit non-homebound patients by reducing hospital re-admissions and visits to the emergency department, according to study findings presented May 1 at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Conference in Baltimore.

Ambar Kulshreshtha, M.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues evaluated a remote monitoring program in non-homebound patients with heart failure, of which 42 agreed to participate in a remote monitoring program, 40 declined to participate and 68 were randomly assigned to usual care. The remote monitoring equipment transmitted information on vital signs to a nurse, and patients weighed themselves and answered questions about their symptoms daily.

The researchers found that patients in the remote monitoring program had lower rates of hospital re-admission and fewer visits to the emergency department than both other groups at three months, though neither reached statistical significance. Of 19 participants in the monitoring program surveyed, 95 percent reported that the program "improved their heart failure control" and "helped them stay out of hospital," the report indicates.

"This study extends the use of remote monitoring to ambulatory heart failure patients," Kulshreshtha and colleagues conclude. "Preliminary results show high levels of subject satisfaction and suggest that remote monitoring may have the potential to reduce hospital re-admissions and emergency room visits in this population."

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