Remote monitoring of implantable cardioverter defibrillators versus quarterly device interrogations in clinic: results from a randomized pilot clinical trial

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2010 May;21(5):545-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8167.2009.01659.x. Epub 2009 Dec 15.


Introduction: Remote monitoring is increasingly becoming the new standard of care for implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) follow-up. We sought to determine whether remote monitoring of ICDs improves patient outcomes compared with quarterly device interrogations in clinic.

Methods and results: In this single-center pilot clinical trial, adult patients with an ICD were randomly assigned to remote monitoring versus quarterly device interrogations in clinic. The primary endpoint was a composite of cardiovascular hospitalization, emergency room visit for a cardiac cause, and unscheduled visit to the electrophysiology clinic for a device-related issue at 1 year. We also examined health-related quality of life, costs, and patient satisfaction with their ICD care. Of 151 patients enrolled in this trial, 76 were randomized to remote monitoring and 75 to quarterly device interrogations in clinic. There was no significant difference in the primary endpoint (32% in the remote monitoring arm vs 34% in the control arm; P = 0.8), mortality, or cost between the 2 arms. Quality of life and patient satisfaction were significantly better in the control arm than in the remote monitoring arm at 6 months (83 [25th, 75th percentiles 70, 90] vs 75 [50, 85]; P = 0.002 and 88 [75, 100] vs 75 [75, 88]; P = 0.03, respectively), but not at 12 months.

Conclusion: We showed no significant reduction in cardiac-related resource utilization with remote monitoring of ICDs. However, given the small number of patients in our study, the real clinical and health economics impact of remote monitoring needs to be verified by a large, multicenter, randomized clinical trial.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / drug therapy
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / therapy
  • Cost Control
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Defibrillators, Implantable* / economics
  • Endpoint Determination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / economics
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Office Visits
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life
  • Telephone
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents