Telemedicine and remote management of heart failure

Sally C Inglis, Robyn A Clark, Finlay A McAlister, Simon Stewart, John G F Cleland

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Abstract

We read the excellent review of telemonitoring in chronic heart failure (CHF)1 with interest and commend the authors on the proposed classification of telemedical remote management systems according to the type of data transfer, decision ability and level of integration. However, several points require clarification in relation to our Cochrane review of telemonitoring and structured telephone support2. We included a study by Kielblock3. We corresponded directly with this study team specifically to find out whether or not this was a randomised study and were informed that it was a randomised trial, albeit by date of birth. We note in our review2 that this randomisation method carries a high risk of bias. Post-hoc metaanalyses without these data demonstrate no substantial change to the effect estimates for all cause mortality (original risk ratio (RR) 0·66 [95% CI 0·54, 0·81], p<0·0001; revised RR 0·72 [95% CI 0·57, 0·92], p=0·008), all-cause hospitalisation (original RR 0·91 [95% CI 0·84, 0·99] p=0·02; revised RR 0.92 [95% CI 0·84, 1·02], p=0·10 ) or CHF-related hospitalisation (original RR 0·79 [95% CI 0·67, 0·94] p=0·008; revised RR 0·75 [95% CI 0·60, 0·94] p=0·01). Secondly, we would classify the Tele-HF study4, 5 as structured telephone support, rather than telemonitoring. Again, inclusion of these data alters the point-estimate but not the overall result of the meta-analyses4. Finally, our review2 does not include invasive telemonitoring as the search strategy was not designed to capture these studies. Therefore direct comparison of our review findings with recent studies of these interventions is not recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e9
Number of pages1
JournalLancet
Volume378
Issue number9806
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

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