Patients with a diagnosis of heart failure, registered at the study practice, were recruited into the study. First, they had a cardiologist's assessment. They were then randomised into telemonitored patients who measured pulse, BP, weight and video consulted, and controls.
Aim: To examine the acceptability, effectiveness and reliability of home telemonitoring.
Results: A high proportion of those invited took part (n=20/24). Compliance with measuring weight, pulse and BP remained high throughout the study. The data collection system and secure web-server were reliable. The telemonitoring group complied better with collecting prescriptions for their cardiac drugs. Video consulting started with enthusiasm, but became less useful. There were no significant differences in the quality of life (GHQ) and Chronic Heart Failure (Guyatt) questionnaire scores between the telemonitored group and the controls.
Conclusions: Home telemonitoring is an acceptable reliable intervention. Baseline rates for compliance with self-monitoring are set out in this study. Benefit in terms of compliance with medication and self-monitoring is still seen after 1 year. Video consulting over ordinary telephone lines did not show sustained benefit, and was not complied with.