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J Telemed Telecare. 2012 Jun;18(4):221-5. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2012.110704. Epub 2012 May 31.

Using preventive home monitoring to reduce hospital admission rates and reduce costs: a case study of telehealth among chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients.

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Telehomecare Research Group, Medical Informatics, Department of Health Science and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, Aalborg University, Denmark.

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We studied whether preventive home monitoring of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) could reduce the frequency of hospital admissions and lower the cost of hospitalization. Patients were recruited from a health centre, general practitioner (GP) or the pulmonary hospital ward. They were randomized to usual care or tele-rehabilitation with a telehealth monitoring device installed in their home for four months. A total of 111 patients were suitable for inclusion and consented to be randomized: 60 patients were allocated to intervention and three were lost to follow-up. In the control group 51 patients were allocated to usual care and three patients were lost to follow-up. In the tele-rehabilitation group, the mean hospital admission rate was 0.49 per patient per 10 months compared to the control group rate of 1.17; this difference was significant (P = 0.041). The mean cost of admissions was €3461 per patient in the intervention group and €4576 in the control group; this difference was not significant. The Kaplan-Meier estimates for time to hospital admission were longer for the intervention group than the controls, but the difference was not significant. Future work requires large-scale studies of prolonged home monitoring with more extended follow-up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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