E-Health services for home monitoring and rehabilitation in COPD patients (preliminary report with 6 months follow up)

T. A. Vontetsianos, P. G. Giovas, A. N. Rigopoulou, G. M. Mpirmpa, P. A. Giaboudakis, T. M. Katsaras, S. K. Contos (Athens, Greece; New Haven, United States Of America)

Aim: The aim of the study was the evaluation of clinical usefulness of an advanced e-health system in home-based rehabilitation and follow up of patients with advanced stages of COPD
Methods: Eighteen subjects (mean FEV1 0.73 L) with at least four admissions for COPD in the previous 2 years were followed up for 6 months after an initial preparation phase. The system consisted of a specially designed electronic health record (HER) and a compilation of advanced telemedicine devices (spirometer, oximetry ect.) for the transmission of patients’ examinations from their homes to the hospital. Through the system the patients were able to undergo home tele-visits, with real time video connection by the members of the rehabilitation team in the hospital, about once a month on a regular or emergency basis
Results: During the first 6 months of the program, the number of hospital days fell to 6 per patient from 14 in the correspondent time of the previous year. This was due to both, reduction of the number of admissions, as well as in the length of stay. The patients had a significant improvement in their quality-of-life, exercise tolerance and emotional status scores.
Conclusions: It seems that the adoption of such systems in clinical practice in our days with the explosive evolutions in e-health technologies, can result in significant cost savings and improvement in patients’ quality of life.

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