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J Telemed Telecare. 2007;13(2):62-8.

New technologies for chronic disease management and control: a systematic review.

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Agency for Health Technology Assessment, Institute of Health Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.


We conducted a systematic review of the clinical effectiveness of interventions using information and communication technologies (ICTs) for managing and controlling chronic diseases. Electronic databases were searched for randomized clinical trials that assessed the effectiveness of ICTs (except for those that included only telephone communication) and measured some clinical indicator. Information was reviewed and assessed independently by two researchers. Of the 950 clinical trials identified, 56 studies were identified for potential inclusion. Of those, 24 were finally included: 5 studies in asthma, 3 in hypertension, 1 in home telecare, 7 in diabetes, 6 in heart failure and 2 in prevention heart disease. Overall, ICT applications did not show an improvement in clinical outcomes, although no adverse effects were identified. However, ICTs used in the detection and follow up of cardiovascular diseases provided better clinical outcomes, mortality reduction and lower health services utilization. Systems used for improving education and social support were also shown to be effective. At present the evidence about the clinical benefits of ICTs for managing chronic disease is limited.

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