Telehealth technologies reduce mortality rates

Patients using technologies to help mange their health from home have a 45% reduction in mortality rates, fewer emergency admissions, and less bed days.
Written by Janet Fang, Contributor on

Patients using home healthcare technologies have lower mortality rates, fewer emergency admissions, and shorter hospital stays, according to a UK Department of Health clinical study.

The goal of the Whole System Demonstrators program was to provide evidence for the adoption of ‘telemonitoring technologies’ – tech to help people manage/monitor their own health from home. Doing this remotely helps them maintain their independence, potentially easing the financial burden of institutional care for the chronically ill.

Telehealth service – aimed at helping people manage their long term health conditions at home – uses equipment to monitor vital signs, which are then automatically transmitted to a clinician.

This study was conducted with 6,191 patients over a 2-year period – it’s the world’s largest randomized control trial of telehealth.

Here come the stats! According to the report’s early findings, if used correctly, telehealth delivers:

  • 45% reduction in mortality rates
  • 15% reduction in accident and emergency department visits
  • 20% reduction in emergency admissions
  • 14% reduction in elective admissions
  • 14% reduction in bed days

The telehealth products examined here include: a blood pressure monitor, pulse oximeter to measure blood oxygen levels and heart rate, weight scales, blood glucometer for blood sugar levels, and a spirometer to measure the volume of air inhaled and exhaled by lungs.

For example, the study selected a remote patient management system called Motiva from Philips (pictured). The system analyzes vital signs via monitoring devices wirelessly linked to the patient’s TV. Anomalies are transmitted through broadband to healthcare professionals, so patients receive early alerts that allow them to take certain steps before their condition worsens.

It was offered to 550 heart failure, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and diabetes patients. The system would cost the healthcare system up to £80 ($125) per month per patient – compared to £2700 ($4200) for admitting a patient to a hospital, according to Philips.

The program was funded by the Department of Health, and the initial results were released earlier this week.

Images: Department of Health and Philips

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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