Purpose: Remote monitoring of cardiac implantable electronic devices has been demonstrated to safely reduce frequency of hospital visits. Limited studies are available evaluating the economic impact. The aim of this article is to highlight the social impact and costs for the patients associated with hospital visits for routine device follow-up at the enrollment visit for the TARIFF study (NCT01075516).
Methods: TARIFF is a prospective, cohort, observational study designed to compare the costs and impact on quality of life between clinic-based and remote care device follow-up strategies.
Results: Two hundred nine patients (85.2 % males) were enrolled in the study; 153 patients (73.2 %) were retired, 36 (17.2 %) were active workers, 18 (8.6 %) were housewives, and 2 (1.0 %) were looking for a job. Among active workers, 63.9 % required time off from work to attend the hospital visit, while 67.0 % of all patients had to interrupt daily activities. The majority of patients spent half a day or more attending the visit. A carer accompanied 77 % of patients. Among carers, 36.6 % required time off from work, and 77.6 % had to interrupt daily activities. Median distance traveled was 36 km. The average cost of travel was 10 euros with 25 % of patients spending more than 30 euros.
Conclusions: Data from patients enrolled in the TARIFF registry confirm that there are social and economic impacts to patients attending routine device checks in hospital which can be significantly reduced by using a remote monitoring strategy.