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Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2010 Feb;107(8):131-8. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2010.0131. Epub 2010 Feb 26.

Home telemonitoring in patients with chronic heart failure: a chance to improve patient care?

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  • 1Lehrstuhl Gesundheit und Prävention, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Universität Greifswald, Germany.



Telemonitoring can improve the medical care, quality of life, and prognosis of chronically ill patients. This review article summarizes the current status of health services research on telemonitoring, focusing on patients with chronic congestive heart failure.


The Medline database was selectively searched for articles appearing from June 2001 to May 2008, with an emphasis on randomized, controlled trials.


The available scientific data on vital signs monitoring are limited, yet there is evidence for a positive effect on some clinical endpoints, particularly mortality. Nonetheless, any possible improvement of patient-reported outcomes, such as the quality of life, still remains to be demonstrated.


The data suggest that telemonitoring is effective, yet there is no evidence for superior outcomes with any particular model of care incorporating telemonitoring (i.e., monitoring of vital signs versus structured telephone monitoring). A valid criticism is that the individual components of home telemonitoring have not yet been separately tested in order to compare their individual effects.

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