Study: Home telehealth, vitals monitoring cuts admissions for heart failure

A home-based interactive telehealth system with motivational support tools built in was able to reduce hospitalization rates by two-thirds, cut inpatient days by nearly three-fourths and significantly boost quality of life for patients with heart failure, according to a new study.

The study, conducted in Spain and presented at the European Society of Cardiology's Heart Failure Congress 2010 in Berlin last week, found that patients given telemonitoring devices plus remote access to healthcare providers from home via their televisions and broadband Internet connections had far better outcomes and improvements in quality of life than those who only had access to the telehealth technology without vitals monitors.

Those patients with only a Philips Motiva interactive telehealth system for disease telemanagement reported 30 percent increase in hospitalizations for all causes over the 12-month study period, though hospitalizations for heart failure fell by 80 percent. The group receiving both management and telemonitoring tools reported a 75 percent drop-off in admissions for heart failure and 63 percent fewer admissions overall.

"The concept of providing educational support to heart failure patients via their television has significantly contributed to empowering them," Dr. Josep Lupon, head of the Heart Failure Unit at Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol in Badalona, Spain, said, Healthcare IT News reports. "Equally important, 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 effectively support their loved ones in coping with their disease. This appears to have a very strong impact on outcomes."

For more data:
- take a look at this Healthcare IT News story
- read this study summary from Philips