Remote Monitoring of Patients With Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators: Can Results From Large Clinical Trials Be Transposed to Clinical Practice?

Arch Cardiovasc Dis. 2014 Dec;107(12):664-71. doi: 10.1016/j.acvd.2014.07.043. Epub 2014 Sep 16.


Background: Remote monitoring (RM) is increasingly used to follow up patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs). Randomized control trials provide evidence for the benefit of this intervention, but data for RM in daily clinical practice with multiple-brands and unselected patients is lacking.

Aims: To assess the effect of RM on patient management and clinical outcome for recipients of ICDs in daily practice.

Methods: We reviewed ICD recipients followed up at our institution in 2009 with RM or with traditional hospital only (HO) follow-up. We looked at the effect of RM on the number of scheduled ambulatory follow-ups and urgent unscheduled consultations, the time between onset of asymptomatic events to clinical intervention and the clinical effectiveness of all consultations. We also evaluated the proportion of RM notifications representing clinically relevant situations.

Results: We included 355 patients retrospectively (RM: n=144, HO: n=211, 76.9% male, 60.3±15.2 years old, 50.1% with ICDs for primary prevention and mean left ventricular ejection fraction 35.5±14.5%). Average follow-up was 13.5 months. The RM group required less scheduled ambulatory follow-up consultations (1.8 vs. 2.1/patient/year; P<0.0001) and a far lower median time between the onset of asymptomatic events and clinical intervention (7 vs. 76 days; P=0.016). Of the 784 scheduled ambulatory follow-up consultations carried out, only 152 (19.4%) resulted in therapeutic intervention or ICD reprogramming. We also found that the vast majority of RM notifications (61.9%) were of no clinical relevance.

Conclusion: RM allows early management of asymptomatic events and a reduction in scheduled ambulatory follow-up consultations in daily clinical practice, without compromising safety, endorsing RM as the new standard of care for ICD recipients.

Keywords: Defibrillators; Défibrillateur automatique implantable; Follow-up; Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator; Remote monitoring; Suivi; Telemedicine; Télécardiologie; Télésurveillance.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnosis
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / mortality
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / physiopathology
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / therapy*
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / prevention & control*
  • Defibrillators, Implantable*
  • Electric Countershock / instrumentation*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Primary Prevention / instrumentation*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke Volume
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Telemetry*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventricular Function, Left