Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of remote patient monitoring (RPM) on the outcome of chronic heart failure (HF) patients.
Background: RPM via regularly scheduled structured telephone contact between patients and health care providers or electronic transfer of physiological data using remote access technology via remote external, wearable, or implantable electronic devices is a growing modality to manage patients with chronic HF.
Methods: After a review of the literature published between January 2000 and October 2008 on a multidisciplinary heart failure approach by either usual care (in-person visit) or RPM, 96 full-text articles were retrieved: 20 articles reporting randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 12 reporting cohort studies qualified for a meta-analysis.
Results: Respectively, 6,258 patients and 2,354 patients were included in RCTs and cohort studies. Median follow-up duration was 6 months for RCTs and 12 months for cohort studies. Both RCTs and cohort studies showed that RPM was associated with a significantly lower number of deaths (RCTs: relative risk [RR]: 0.83, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.73 to 0.95, p = 0.006; cohort studies: RR: 0.53, 95% CI: 0.29 to 0.96, p < 0.001) and hospitalizations (RCTs: RR: 0.93, 95% CI: 0.87 to 0.99, p = 0.030; cohort studies: RR: 0.52, 95% CI: 0.28 to 0.96, p < 0.001). The decrease in events was greater in cohort studies than in RCTs.
Conclusions: RPM confers a significant protective clinical effect in patients with chronic HF compared with usual care.