Heart failure is a common cardiovascular problem which is increasing in both prevalence and incidence and associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. The management of heart failure patients is complex and has become a priority world over. Effective methods to keep heart failure patients out of the hospital are essential, both in the interests of the patient’s health, as well as to reduce burden on health care systems.
Heart failure patients should be in a position to provide readings of their weight, blood pressure, fluid intake, medications and other important parameters and communicate this data to care providers using wireless technology. This data should be made available to medical personnel regularly and on a periodic basis. In this manner the health care providers can detect and respond to warning signs or alerts before the patient’s condition worsens to warrant a visit to the doctor or a hospital admission with features of heart failure decompensation.
Programs for chronic heart failure that include remote monitoring have been shown to have a positive effect on clinical outcomes in community dwelling patients with chronic heart failure. A recently published Cochrane report states that structured telephone support and telemonitoring are effective in reducing the risk of all-cause mortality and heart failure-related hospitalizations. Furthermore, these management strategies improve quality of life and evidence-based prescribing while costs are reduced. These studies were done with structured telephonic support and by telemonitoring.
Patients have always found technology difficult to use. But with the wide penetration and usage of mobile devices presently seen all over the world, this barrier, to a large extent can now be overcome, thus paving a way to use this as an easy and practical mode of long distance medical interaction and this very affordable mode of communication. The attraction of this mode would be that it could be implemented with no additional cost to the patient (using the patient’s own mobile phone) or the care provider, easy availability of mobile phones, and connectivity across the world, user friendly software, instantaneous access to clinical information on a continuous basis, quick response to alerts which could translate into reducing morbidity/mortality and reducing the burden on the hospital on many fronts.
Existing methods for home monitoring (paper based, telephone based or web based methods) to improve management of heart failure has limitations and alternative use of mobile based remote monitoring techniques could be a more superior, practical & convenient option to better manage this risk group.
This same principle can be applied to a variety of medical diseases.
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- Higher Blood Glucose Levels Better For Diabetic Patients With Advanced Heart Failure
- Mobile Health Monitoring: Clinical Study Conducted in Singapore by HP, SingTel shows Promise
- List of Congestive Heart Failure Treatments under Clinical Trials
- Mesoblast – Given A Go-Ahead For Phase-II Stem Cell Trial for Heart Failure in Europe