The telemedicine intervention in chronic disease management promises to involve patients in their own care, provides continuous monitoring by their healthcare providers, identifies early symptoms, and responds promptly to exacerbations in their illnesses. This review set out to establish the evidence from the available literature on the impact of telemedicine for the management of three chronic diseases: congestive heart failure, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. By design, the review focuses on a limited set of representative chronic diseases because of their current and increasing importance relative to their prevalence, associated morbidity, mortality, and cost. Furthermore, these three diseases are amenable to timely interventions and secondary prevention through telemonitoring. The preponderance of evidence from studies using rigorous research methods points to beneficial results from telemonitoring in its various manifestations, albeit with a few exceptions. Generally, the benefits include reductions in use of service: hospital admissions/re-admissions, length of hospital stay, and emergency department visits typically declined. It is important that there often were reductions in mortality. Few studies reported neutral or mixed findings.
Keywords: chronic disease; evidence; telehealth; telemedicine; telemonitoring; telepulmonology; telestroke.