Recap - Innovative solutions for chronic diseases
Telehealth for patients with heart failure: A comparison between telehealth systems
With the improvement of technology, home monitoring systems have become widely available at lower costs. As a consequence, the importance of telehealth systems has increased significantly over the last decade. Because of this, it is paramount to know how the efficiency of such systems can be improved. The study of KU Leuven, North East London NHS Foundation Trust, Health Enterprise East and Maastricht University Medical Center showed that the inclusion of educational material, and a user-friendly platform leads to significantly better compliance by the patients. Here, patients suffering from heart failure were studied, and two telehealth platforms were evaluated, namely Docobo and Philips.
Early observations indicate some differences between both systems, however further data will be analysed during the course of the project to further verify this. The fact that patients with Philips systems measure themselves significantly more times a day than patients with Docobo units seems to indicate that there is an apparent effect of the user friendliness provided by Philips. Patients with Philips technology may feel more comfortable with the system and comply much better than others, though equally clinicians are conscious that patients would not be encouraged to 'over monitor' i.e. take measurements more than the recommended times per day. As the project develops and more data is analysed, the findings can help telemonitoring projects like Recap to increase the benefits obtained by such systems, as patient compliance is an important aspect to any telehealth research.
The initial findings need to be confirmed with a quality of life questionnaire. Therefore, the European Heart Failure Self-Care Behaviour Scale questionnaire is currently implemented in the system, to be able to confirm the effect of education and user friendliness on telehealth.
You can find the total paper written by C. Varon, J. Minter, M. Stapleton, S. Thomson, S. Jaecques,S. Sanders-van Wijk, H. P. Brunner-La Rocca, and S. Van Huffel here.