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Telemonitoring Improves Heart Failure Patient Outcome

Remote monitoring programs reduce heart failure admissions and mortality rates

FRIDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Remote monitoring that includes structured telephone support or telemonitoring helps improve clinical outcomes in community-dwelling patients with heart failure, researchers report in the April 10 online edition of BMJ. Remote monitoring may help those with poor access to health care due to geography, transport or infirmity.

Simon Stewart, Ph.D., from the Baker Heart Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues reviewed data from 15 electronic databases and previous randomized studies comparing remote monitoring with standard care to determine whether telephone monitoring can improve outcomes in patients with heart failure. Overall, 14 trials with a total of 4,264 patients were included.

Remote monitoring was found to reduce rates of admission for chronic heart failure by 21 percent and reduce all-cause mortality by 20 percent. Some of the studies showed improvements in quality of life and others showed that remote monitoring either has a positive effect or no additive effect on health care costs.

The authors caution that "monitoring is not a treatment but rather a different way of systematically organizing effective care. Thus, programs that include remote monitoring should not be seen as a replacement for specialist care or multidisciplinary chronic heart failure clinics."

The study was partly supported by Phillips Healthcare.

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