08.04.2019 change 08.04.2019

Research: Telemedicine improves the results of treatment of people with heart failure

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According to Polish research results, remote monitoring of patients with heart failure reduces the risk of death due to various causes and the risk of hospitalisation due to cardiovascular diseases, says Dr. Mateusz Tajstra from the Silesian Centre for Heart Diseases in Zabrze.

The expert presented the results during the session on the latest significant clinical trials at the Congress of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) in Lisbon (Portugal) on March 17-19.

"Our research provided further significant evidence confirming the clinical effectiveness of remote monitoring of implantable devices in patients with heart failure" - Dr. Tajstra told PAP.

In his opinion, not only can remote monitoring improve the quality of care and prognosis for this group of patients, it will also bring savings to the health care system.

The RESULT study was the first Polish randomised study (with random assignment of patients to different study groups) in patients with heart failure and with implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) or cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D).

In the group of 600 patients, researchers compared the results obtained through classical care - with scheduled control visits in a cardiology clinic - with the results of remote monitoring of patients. Remote monitoring was carried out via a wireless connection to the implanted device.

After 12 months of observation, it turned out that patients monitored remotely had significantly lower risk of death due to various causes and a lower risk of hospitalisation due to cardiovascular causes.

According to Dr. Tajstra, hospitalisation is the most expensive form of medical care. "Therefore, we can expect that the implementation of telemonitoring methods in Poland would be cost-effective for the health care system" - he said.

The cardiologist pointed out that the viability of reimbursement of remote monitoring of patients with heart failure and implanted electrical devices was being evaluated by the Ministry of Health. "We hope that our results will be an important voice in this matter" - he emphasised.

According to the 2017 Innovative Economy Institute report "The assessment of the cost of heart failure in Poland from the national economy perspective", economic losses associated with heart failure are several times higher than the National Health Fund`s expenses for its treatment. In the years 2014-2015, the losses for the economy amounted to 3.6 to 3.9 billion zlotys, while the costs of heart failure treatment was approx. 760 million to 900 million zlotys, the majority of which were expenditures on hospitalisation.

In Poland, 600,000 to 700,000 people suffer from heart failure.

The RESULT study led by Prof. Lech Poloński from the Silesian Centre for Heart Diseases in Zabrze (SCCS) was co-financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under the program "Prevention and treatment of civilization diseases - STRATEGMED". It was carried out at the SCCS cardiology clinics headed by Prof. Mariusz Gąsior and Prof. Zbigniew Kalarus.

PAP - Science in Poland, Joanna Morga

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