Telemonitoring may reduce the mortality of patients with heart failure by 20%. Silke Schmidt et al. present their study results in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2010; 107131-8).
The term “telemonitoring” covers a very wide variety of clinical applications of electronic transfer of patient data to the physician. Instruments record important information, such as heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation, and transmit this to the physician. In addition, patients can report their state of health by phone and image files can be transmitted. One of the important roles of telemonitoring is to improve the monitoring of patients in their domestic environment. This apparently markedly reduces the mortality rate of patients with heart failure. It is still unclear whether patients with other chronic diseases benefit.