Background and aim: The efficiency of tele-monitoring or tele-assistance in patients with severe chronic ventilatory failure in home mechanical ventilation (HMV) is still being investigated. Our aim was to test the feasibility of a model which consisted in: 1) once a week nocturnal telemonitoring, supervised by a doctor in charge in a Respiratory Intensive Care Unit, who also provided a telephone-counselling (24/7) on demand; 2) a scheduled visit every two months.
Methods: A 2-year observational study was carried out on 16 patients ventilated for at least 1 year and for > or = 8 hours/day. Once a week patients underwent a nocturnal monitoring during HMV. The compliance was evaluated by regular transmission of data and regular follow-up, the level of satisfaction by a telephone-questionnaire.
Results: The adherence to the protocol study was good in 9/16 (56%) and poor in 7/16 (44%) patients. For each patient, the mean number of connections was 46.12 +/- 36.39 (70.7% of that expected), in those with good compliance it increased to 63.8 +/- 32.7 (114% of that expected). The median hours of connection was 343 (138-1019) and 89 (0-521) for patients with good and poor compliance respectively, p = 0.038. The mean scheduled visits for patient with good compliance was 6.9 +/- 4.14 (100% of that expected). Emergency visits were avoided in 62.5% of cases. The satisfaction score was higher in compliant versus non compliant patients (p = 0.019).
Conclusion: This pilot study showed that the telemonitoring system employed was feasible and effective in more compliant patients who claimed a high rate of satisfaction.