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Patient-centred technology for monitoring heart failure provides benefits beyond usual care

Or CK, Tao D, Wang H  The effectiveness of the use of consumer health information technology in patients with heart failure: A meta-analysis and narrative review of randomized controlled trials  Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare.  2016 January;0(0):1-12.

Review question

What impact does the use of patient-centred technology have on disease management and health outcomes for heart failure patients? 

Background

The high prevalence of heart failure is becoming a significant societal and economic burden due to the high costs, mortality and hospitalization rates associated with the disease. 

Traditional heart failure management programs and home care, including education, counselling, and in-person follow-up, are constrained by geographical barriers, insufficiently trained caregivers, and logistical inconvenience. 

There is a growing interest in utilizing more accessible patient-centred health information technology, which can enable patients to take a more active role in managing their health by sharing and controlling their health information electronically. However, despite the potential benefits, the effectiveness of this technology has yet to be determined.

How the review was done

A detailed search of several electronic databases for studies published up to September 2015 was conducted.  Studies that compared the use of patient-centred health information technology to usual care without this technology were included. 

A total of 2,162 studies were identified in searches, and 50 were included in the review after assessment for eligibility. 

The review was funded by the Hong Kong Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF) and Health Bureau. 

What the researchers found

The study revealed that the use of patient-centred health information technology significantly decreased the number of hospitalizations, length of hospitalization, and mortality related to heart failure.

The studies included in the review also revealed that patient-centred health information technology was associated with a significant increase in patients’ disease-specific knowledge, and a decrease in the annual cost per heart failure patient. 

Conclusion

The review reports that patient-centred health information technology has the potential to improve self-management, and reduce mortality, hospitalizations and length of hospital stay for heart failure patients. It is suggested that further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of these technologies in improving outcomes not related to heart failure.

 




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