THURSDAY, Nov. 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Enrollment in an automated remote monitoring service for adults with COVID-19 at home can help reduce mortality, according to a study published online Nov. 16 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
M. Kit Delgado, M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort analysis in a U.S. Mid-Atlantic academic health system to examine whether enrollment in an automated remote monitoring service for community-dwelling adults with COVID-19 at home (COVID Watch) improved mortality. The COVID Watch intervention included twice-daily automated text message check-ins; worsening symptoms could be reported at any time. Dedicated telemedicine clinicians managed all escalations. A total of 3,488 patients were enrolled in COVID Watch and were matched with 4,377 propensity score-weighted controls receiving usual care.
The researchers found that COVID Watch patients had an odds ratio for death of 0.32 at 30 days, with 1.8 fewer deaths per 1,000 patients. At 60 days, there were 2.5 fewer deaths per 1,000 patients. Patients in the COVID Watch intervention had more telemedicine encounters, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations, and they also presented to the emergency department sooner (mean, 1.9 days).
"We saw a higher proportion of higher-risk patients and also low-income and Black patients enrolled in COVID Watch, but the fact that we measured a significant benefit associated with enrollment in the program is a good indicator that there truly is a treatment benefit for everyone," Delgado said in a statement.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to industry.