Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Study Shows Improvement

A new clinical study shows that telehealth patients experienced a significant improvement in care and quality of life over a 12 month evaluation period according to the final results of the Catalan Remote Management Evaluation (CARME). CARME was conducted at the Spanish Hospital Germans Trias I Pujol with support from Philips. The promising results are being presented at the European Society of Cardiology’s Heart Failure Congress in 2010 in Berlin.

The 92 patients in the study were heart failure patients who used the Philips Motiva system an interactive telehealth system with motivational support tools in the home. The patients spent less time in the hospital and felt that their quality of life had significantly improved over the 12 month evaluation period.

This is the first time that a telehealth system combining remote patient monitoring with motivational educational support tools has been researched and studied and the results demonstrate significant additional value and effectiveness for managing the health of chronically ill heart failure patients.

Previous studies have analyzed the advantages of telehealth in terms of patient care, decrease in hospital admissions, and cost savings. This study demonstrates the additional benefit for patients that result when educational and motivational tools are also used to improve their quality of life.

The study monitored patients with severe heart failure at home while being managed by the Hospital Germans Trias I Pujol Heart Failure Clinic. The interactive telehealth system connected the patients to their healthcare providers via their home television and broadband internet connection.

The patients in the CARME study were randomly assigned to two groups. In one group, the patients received care plan-driven educational videos, motivational messages, and questionnaires. The second group received the same information but was also requested to monitor their blood pressure, pulse rate, and weight.

Patients took vital measurements in their home and communicated the information to their physician via the system. Physicians were able to send the patients educational and motivational information to help manage their health.

Results from using the equipment in the home were compared with clinical outcomes 12 months prior and showed:

• A decrease of 68 percent in heart failure related hospitalizations
• The number of days spent in the hospital were reduced by 73 percent
• Patients showed a continuous and significant improvement in their perception of quality of life over the 12 month observation period—an improvement that ranged from 62 to 72 percent
• Satisfaction with the telemonitoring system was high especially in patients who had vital measurements added to their educational and motivational tools. Up to 81 percent of these patients wanted to keep the solution in addition to their regular care
• By disseminating patient and disease specific information via the television helps family members gain a better understanding of how to support their loved ones in coping with their disease

Also, as part of the EU-funded My Heart research project, Philips and partners are developing an advanced heart failure management system that may provide more comprehensive information about a patient’s condition and enable earlier intervention.

This experimental heart failure management system consists of a wearable vest with an embedded innovative sensor designed to assess the accumulation of fluid in the lung. In addition, the research project will explore comprehensive patient-centric solutions based on innovative sensors for chronic disease management at home.

For more information contact Sabinevan Deursen, Philips Healthcare Communications at +31 (0) 40 2785 093 or email