Clinical Impact of Home Telemonitoring on Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Telemedicine and e-Health. November 2012, 18(9): 674-678. doi:10.1089/tmj.2012.0003. Morten Hasselstrøm Jensen, Simon Lebech Cichosz, Ole Kristian Hejlesen, Egon Toft, Carl Nielsen, Ove Grann, and Birthe Irene Dinesen

Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects millions of people worldwide. A complication of COPD is exacerbations that result in increased utilization of healthcare services, readmissions to the hospital, and a decline in health-related quality of life. Home telehealth has been shown both to improve health-related quality of life and to reduce admission rates. Using clinical data from a home telemonitoring group, this study sought to investigate the clinical impact of telemonitoring.

Subjects and Methods: Fifty-seven subjects with COPD were included in a 4-month telemonitoring project. Differences between the clinical parameters during the first and last months of participation in the project were tested for significance, and the levels for the first month versus the difference were tested for correlation.

Results: Significant declines were observed in prescriptions for antibiotics and steroids (p=0.03), clinical consultations (p=0.05), mean systolic blood pressure (p<0.001), standard deviation of systolic blood pressure (p=0.03), and mean diastolic blood pressure (p=0.02). No significant differences were observed for mean of oxygen saturation (p=0.77), standard deviation of oxygen saturation (p=0.36), mean of forced expiratory volume in 1&#8201;s (p=0.17), mean of forced vital capacity (p=0.29), mean of pulse rate (p=0.78), standard deviation of pulse rate (p=0.57), and standard deviation of diastolic blood pressure (p=0.27).

Conclusions: The results suggest that telemonitoring improves the condition of the patient by lowering the blood pressure, the number of prescribed antibiotics and steroids, and the number of clinical consultations.

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