Not all heart failure patients get on with home monitoring of their condition

4th March 2016

Some people with heart failure who agree to home monitoring of their condition don’t get on with the technology and need a different approach, says a new study.

The study showed that 1,400 patients using remote telemonitoring enjoyed a modestly better quality of life than those having usual care, but the system did not affect how often they were readmitted to hospital in the next six months.

The researchers speculated that haphazard use of remote monitoring by some of the patients had influenced the results.  They found that some people took much better to the technology than others and so suggested its use could be confined to those the technology suited. The mean age of those in the study was 73.

Lead author Dr Michael Ong, from the University of California, Los Angeles, said some patients were only using remote monitoring because their doctors had told them they needed to do it.  But others were happy with the system and were very successful at using it.

He said a lot more work had to be done to find out which patients respond to the approach and which patients need a different approach.

The remote monitoring protocol included heart failure education before patients left hospital, regular telephone calls, and remote monitoring of weight, blood pressure, heart rate and symptoms. Patients were called by a registered nurse two to three days after they left hospital and each week for the first month, then monthly up to sixth months.

Remote monitoring was marginally associated with reduced mortality at 30 days, but not at six months.

The trial, called Better Effectiveness After Transition Heart Failure, was published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association - Internal Medicine.JAMA - Google Search