A trial of 664 patients conducted at 36 clinics and hospitals in Europe, Australia, and Israel, found that remote monitoring of patients with implantable cardiac devices reduced the mortality rate for cardiac patients by 50 percent and improved their clinical status by almost 10 percent. All patients studied had either implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) or cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRD-Ds) with telemonitoring abilities, but only one group used the telemonitoring functionality. The experiment group of 333 patients had their devices’ readings evaluated daily by medical personnel and the control group of 331 patients received standard care without telemonitoring. The mean age of all patients was 65.5.
“Reducing mortality by over 50 percent is an excellent outcome for any therapy. [The study] showed how important automatic, daily transmissions of clinical and device data are to patient management and outcomes,” Coordinating Investigator Dr. Gerhard Hindricks, from the University of Leipzig Heart Center in Germany, said in a press release. “Improvements in patients’ health are likely due to the early detection of the onset or progression of ventricular and atrial tachyarrhythmias and the early recognition of therapy settings that may need adjusting.”
The study also examined the efficiency of telemonitoring technologies and infrastructure, finding that data was transmitted on 85 percent of patient days within the experiment group. A study of the response time of medical staff to an alert from the monitoring software found that the median time was one day to patient contact and two days to follow-up. “The effects of home monitoring depend on physicians’ and medical staff’s response to the remotely monitored data. By reacting quickly to notifications, we were able to follow up with patients exactly when they needed medical attention, and adapt their therapy accordingly,” said Dr. Peter Sogaard, one of the clinicians at the Aalborg University Hospital in Denmark, in a press release. “We were also able to divide work between a qualified nurse and myself, the overseeing physician, to improve our clinic’s workflow and ensure efficient patient management.”