Clinical Use of Telemonitoring in Chronic Heart Failure: Keeping up with the Times or Misuse of Time?
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- Stoyanov, N. & Paul, V. Curr Heart Fail Rep (2012) 9: 75. doi:10.1007/s11897-011-0074-4
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Close follow-up of patients with severe heart failure, especially after hospital discharge, has been shown to impact the mortality and readmission rates in this patient population. Monitoring of the patients’ physiological status is important for predicting a potential heart failure decompensation. Earlier studies on structured telephone support and telemonitoring suggested a clear benefit on mortality and heart failure admissions, though recent large randomized controlled trials have been neutral. This review looks into the possible reasons for discrepancies in the outcomes. Remote monitoring of implantable cardiac devices is becoming increasingly utilized in a proportion of patients for device follow-up, and recent technology advances have suggested utility of certain device algorithms in detecting heart failure decompensations. Implantable hemodynamic monitors also show promise in this sphere, though have limited evidence at this stage, and further development in the technology is likely before they become part of routine practice.