Background: Remote monitoring (RM) in patients with advanced heart failure and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-D) may reduce delays in clinical decisions by transmitting automatic alerts. However, this strategy has never been tested specifically in this patient population, with alerts for lung fluid overload, and in a European setting.
Objective: The main objective of Phase 1 (presented here) is to evaluate if RM strategy is able to reduce time from device-detected events to clinical decisions.
Methods: In this multicenter randomized controlled trial, patients with moderate to severe heart failure implanted with CRT-D devices were randomized to a Remote group (with remote follow-up and wireless automatic alerts) or to a Control group (with standard follow-up without alerts). The primary endpoint of Phase 1 was the delay between an alert event and clinical decisions related to the event in the first 154 enrolled patients followed for 1 year.
Results: The median delay from device-detected events to clinical decisions was considerably shorter in the Remote group compared to the Control group: 2 (25(th)-75(th) percentile, 1-4) days vs 29 (25(th)-75(th) percentile, 3-51) days respectively, P=.004. In-hospital visits were reduced in the Remote group (2.0 visits/patient/year vs 3.2 visits/patient/year in the Control group, 37.5% relative reduction, P<.001). Automatic alerts were successfully transmitted in 93% of events occurring outside the hospital in the Remote group. The annual rate of all-cause hospitalizations per patient did not differ between the two groups (P=.65).
Conclusions: RM in CRT-D patients with advanced heart failure allows physicians to promptly react to clinically relevant automatic alerts and significantly reduces the burden of in-hospital visits.
Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00885677; http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00885677 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6IkcCJ7NF).
Keywords: alerts; cardiac resynchronization therapy; heart failure; remote monitoring; telemedicine.