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Telehealth Patients Experience a Significant Improvement in Care and Quality of Life

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 17 Jun 2010
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A new study has found that a telehealth system combining remote patient monitoring with motivational educational support tools improves the quality of life (QOL) of chronically ill heart failure patients.

Researchers at Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol (Badalona; Spain) reported the 12 months evaluation period results of 92 patients with severe heart failure at home participating in the CAtalan Remote Management Evaluation (CARME) study. The Philips Motiva interactive telehealth system was used to connect patients to their healthcare providers via their home television and a broadband internet connection. Patients were randomly assigned to two groups; the first received care plan-driven educational videos, motivational messages, and questionnaires. The second group received the same information but was also requested to monitor their blood pressure, pulse rate, and weight.

The results of the study showed a decrease of 68% in heart failure related hospitalizations and a reduction of days spent in hospital by 73%. The study also revealed that the patients showed a continuous and significant improvement in their perception of QOL over the 12-month observation period, an improvement that ranged from 62% to 72%. A postanalysis of the results showed that while at the beginning of the study 56% of the patients said that their QOL was "medium” or "low,” this number decreased to 22% at the end of the study. Also, the number of patients that considered their quality of life to be "medium-high” rose from 44% at the beginning of the study to 78% after one year, and more than one-quarter of respondents (28%) considered QOL to be "almost excellent.”

In addition, satisfaction with the telemonitoring system was high, especially in those patients who had vital measurements added to their educational and motivational tools. Up to 81% of these patients wanted to keep the solution in addition to their regular care. The results of the CARME study were presented at the European Society of Cardiology Heart Failure Congress, held during May-June 2010 in Berlin (Germany).

"The concept of providing educational support to heart failure patients via their television has significantly contributed to empowering them. Equally important, the CARME study has shown that disseminating patient and disease specific information via the TV, through Philips Motiva, helps family members to gain a better understanding of how to support effectively their loved ones in coping with their disease. This appears to have a very strong impact on outcomes,” said lead author Josep Lupon, M.D., head of the heart failure unit.

The Philips Motiva interactive telehealth system is a product of Phillips Healthcare (Best, The Netherlands).

Related Links:

Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol
Phillips Healthcare

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