Background: Telemonitoring, the use of communication technology to remotely monitor health status, is an appealing strategy for improving disease management. Methods and Results: We searched Medline databases, bibliographies, and spoke with experts to review the evidence on telemonitoring in heart failure patients. Interventions included: telephone-based symptom monitoring (n = 5), automated monitoring of signs and symptoms (n = 1), and automated physiologic monitoring (n = 1). Two studies directly compared effectiveness of 2 or more forms of telemonitoring. Study quality and intervention type varied considerably. Six studies suggested reduction in all-cause and heart failure hospitalizations (14% to 55% and 29% to 43%, respectively) or mortality (40% to 56%) with telemonitoring. Of the 3 negative studies, 2 enrolled low-risk patients and patients with access to high quality care, whereas 1 enrolled a very high-risk Hispanic population. Studies comparing forms of telemonitoring demonstrated similar effectiveness. However, intervention costs were higher with more complex programs ($8383 per patient per year) versus less complex programs ($1695 per patient per year). Conclusion: The evidence base for telemonitoring in heart failure is currently quite limited. Based on the available data, telemonitoring may be an effective strategy for disease management in high-risk heart failure patients.
- Disease management