Objectives: To provide a systematic review of home telemonitoring for respiratory conditions and to present evidence on its effects in relation to data quality, patient medical condition, utilization of health services, feasibility and use, and economic viability.
Study design: Systematic review of the literature to identify peer-reviewed articles that reported effects of home telemonitoring for patients with respiratory conditions.
Methods: A literature search was conducted on Cochrane and MEDLINE (1966-2007) databases using the following keywords: pulmonary, respiratory, asthma, lung, telemonitoring, telecare, telehealth, telehomecare, and home monitoring.
Results: Twenty-three studies were found that presented effects of telemonitoring for various pulmonary conditions. Good levels of data validity and reliability were reported, when assessed. However, little quantitative evidence exists about its effects on patient medical condition and utilization of health services. Positive effects on patient behavior were consistently reported. Only 2 studies performed a detailed cost analysis of this approach.
Conclusions: Home telemonitoring of respiratory conditions results in early identification of deteriorations in patient condition and symptom control. Positive patient attitude and receptiveness of this approach are promising. However, evidence on the magnitude of clinical and structural effects remains preliminary, with variations in study approaches and an absence of robust study designs and formal evaluations. Assessment of providers' attitudes toward telemonitoring and its effect on their workload is necessary.