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News

Telemonitoring to reduce hospitalizations among heart failure patients

Yale University : 23 March, 2007  (Technical Article)
In NIH-sponsored study to determine whether a system of monitoring symptoms and weight by telephone can reduce hospitalizations in heart failure patients, is being launched at Yale School of Medicine.
Tele-HF is a four-year randomized controlled trial funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which will enroll over 1,600 heart failure patients nationwide. Patients from 15 community-based cardiology practices will be evaluated for the effectiveness of a remote symptom monitoring system.

“Heart failure patients often experience a gradual deterioration in health status over weeks before ultimately requiring hospitalization,” said Sarwat Chaudhry, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Yale and a lead investigator on the trial. “A system of frequent monitoring may help clinicians to intervene early and thereby avoid the need for hospitalization.”

Harlan Krumholz, M.D., professor of medicine and principal investigator on the trial said, “This study will provide a remarkable opportunity to determine if a low technology intervention can help heart failure patients. This intervention will engage patients in their care and improve communication with their physicians.”

The telemonitoring technology requires patients to telephone an automated system to answer questions about symptoms and then enter daily weight. Clinicians at each practice can then review the patients’ responses through a secure Internet site, thereby improving patients’ access to cardiology care. Chaudhry said this simple system has the potential to be used in a variety of practice settings and for a diverse group of patients who will actively participate in managing their conditions.

Patients will be randomly assigned to standard care or telemonitoring combined with standard care. Patients in the test group will receive telemonitoring for six months. About 70 patients per month will be enrolled in the study across all participating sites.
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