People with heart failure and an ICD don't welcome all remote feedback

27th June 2016

People with heart failure and an internal defibrillator don’t welcome all remote feedback, says new research.

They are happy to get information remotely about their devices, but not so keen to hear remotely how they are doing or receive lifestyle advice in that form.

Lead researcher, Dr Luca Rossi, has speculated that they may prefer to get details about their health status directly from a doctor and may be overloaded with healthy lifestyle information.

Details of the research were shown at this month’s conference of the European Heart Rhythm Association.

A total of 260 patients with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) for dilated cardiomyopathy or coronary artery disease filled in a questionnaire. The average age was 69 and almost three quarters were men.

When asked about their wishes for improvements in remote monitoring, around three-quarters welcomed receiving data on their smartphones regarding their ICD’s battery life, device operation, lead safety, and when the device was called into action.

Nearly nine in ten people also rated highly information on when the device was pacing their heart, but fewer patients wanted remote feedback on their ECG, atrial fibrillation or heart failure.

Dr Rossi, from the Guglielo Da Saliceto Hospital in Italy, said he thought patients wanted to know clinical information from their doctors, not from the devices.

People gave the lowest interest in healthy lifestyle reminders, with only a third rating information on body weight, fluid intake, and drug reminders as indispensable or highly desirable.

Dr Rossi suggested those patients who aren't tech-savvy "have a son or daughter who can apply themselves on technology."

Reference: Rossi L, Villani A, Penela D, et al.Heart failure patient wishes regarding future improvements in cardiac implantable device remote monitoring. European Heart Rhythm Association EUROPACE-CARDIOSTIM 2016; June 8, 2016; Nice, France. Abstract 16P/54