Automatic wireless monitoring useful for heart failure patients

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Automatic wireless monitoring has been proved beneficial for chronic heart failure patients, a new trial presented at the recent European Society of Cardiology meeting in Amsterdam, determined.

Performed by researchers from Germany, Forbes reported that Gerhard Hindrick, coordinating investigator for the trial, said that the system examined--In-Time--was designed "to test whether automatic remote home monitoring can detect events that precede clinical events and thereby spark interventions to help reduce hospitalizations for heart failure [HF]."

For the study,664 chronic heart failure patients were randomized to groups for home monitoring plus standard care or standard care alone. The following factors made up the "Packer score," by which each patient was classified as better, worse or the same at the completion of the study: death; overnight hospitalization for worsening heart failure; favorable, unfavorable, or no change in NYHA class; and improvement, deterioration, or no change in the patient's global self-assessment score.

Results showed that after 12 months, 18.9 percent of patients in the home-monitoring group had worsened, compared to 27.5 percent in the control group. Ten deaths occurred in the home-monitoring group, while 27 occurred in the control group. Cardiovascular mortality was reduced from 21 deaths to eight deaths when using home monitoring.

According to Forbes, Hindrick concluded at the meeting that In-Time is the first implant-based remote monitoring randomized controlled trial to show significant benefits of implant-based home monitoring for patients with advanced heart failure. "Home-monitoring-based detection of changes in clinical status or technical events can trigger medical action that prevents worsening of heart failure," he said.

A report published last month by Research and Markets determined that remote patient telemonitoring is the biggest driver of the global telemedicine market. The analysis predicts that the global telemedicine market will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 18.9 percent from 2012 to 2016, primarily due to an increase remote patient telemonitoring and strategic partnerships among vendors.

What's more, a study published last month in the journal Telemedicine and e-Health found that patients were highly satisfied with telehealth self-monitoring, saying they quickly received feedback, could tell when their health was changing, and felt more motivated to improve their behavior and more accountable for the results.

To learn more:
- read the article in Forbes
- see the trial on ClinicalTrials.gov

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