Management of heart failure patients using telemedicine communication systems

Curr Cardiol Rep. 2006 May;8(3):171-9. doi: 10.1007/s11886-006-0030-1.


Heart failure (HF) continues to place significant demands on health care resources because of the large number of hospital admissions for HF, the growth of the elderly population with HF, and the improved survival of patients with chronic heart disease who develop HF that requires continuous care. Because HF is best managed using a disease management approach, frequent communication is an important component of care. A variety of studies using the telephone to maintain communication have demonstrated reduced hospital admissions and improved morbidity rate. Hardware monitoring systems that can record vital signs and transmit information from the home to a data center have also demonstrated their value in HF care, but such systems become expensive when considered for large populations of HF patients. Most HF patients can transmit their vital signs, weight, and symptoms to a practice data center using the Internet with no specialized hardware other than a sphygmomanometer and a scale. We have used such a system to monitor HF patients and have provided care instructions using the same system. With use of an Internet communication system, it is possible to reduce hospitalizations and maintain a stable HF status without frequent office visits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Management
  • Electronic Data Processing
  • Heart Failure / economics
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Telemedicine / economics
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Telephone
  • United States / epidemiology