Cost comparison between telemonitoring and usual care of heart failure: a systematic review

Telemed J E Health. 2008 Sep;14(7):679-86. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2007.0114.


Heart failure (HF) is associated with high direct and indirect costs to the patients and the healthcare system. This systematic review aims to analyze existing economic data to determine whether telemonitoring of patients with HF will result in decreased costs. The Scopus and PubMed databases were searched independently by two reviewers for journal articles that reported on an economic analysis (i.e., calculated monetary amounts or percentage change in costs) of a study using a HF telemonitoring system. Only articles describing telemonitoring systems with a component of home physiological measurements were included. Eleven articles met the inclusion criteria, describing 10 different HF telemonitoring systems. Nine of the 10 studies analyzed the direct costs to the healthcare system. All the studies found cost reductions from telemonitoring compared to usual care, which ranged between 1.6% and 68.3%. Cost reductions were mainly attributed to reduced hospitalization expenditures. Only one study discussed the impact of HF telemonitoring on direct patient costs. The study found a 3.5% lower travel cost for patients using telemonitoring compared to those in the usual care group. The single study that was found for indirect costs described the willingness to pay for telemedicine by patients with HF (55% of the patients with HF were willing to pay $20 to access telemedicine, and 19% were willing to pay $40). Available data from existing studies suggest that although HF telemonitoring will require an initial financial investment, it will substantially reduce costs in the long term, particularly by reducing rehospitalization and travel costs.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Cost Savings
  • Health Care Costs
  • Heart Failure / economics*
  • Heart Failure / therapy
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / economics*
  • Ontario
  • Telemedicine / economics*
  • Telemedicine / organization & administration