A Study of Remote Monitoring of Chronic Heart Failure (CHF) Patients at Home
A systematic review of Cochrane from 2010 shows that giving patients with Chronic Heart Failure (CHF) access to remote monitoring services, for example, by telephone or by using wireless technology, reduces deaths and hospitalizations and may provide benefits in terms of health costs and quality of life. Conditions as CHF pose a heavy burden on the national health care services, and remote monitoring can reduce the pressure on resources. The costs of treating CHF are big in Norway and include costs associated with hospital care, years of drug use and lost quality of life for patients and their families. We have little knowledge of the total costs related to CHF. International studies seem to recommend the use of this type of service, but there are no studies of Norway on the use of remote monitoring in this patient group. The structure and organization of the funding in the Norwegian health service is different to that of other countries and it is therefore important to examine the usefulness of such services in Norway.
The implemented Remove Monitoring Service consists of daily transfer of values from the patient's home to a server at UNN. The values to be transferred are the weight and blood pressure. The transfer takes place automatically and securely. The values are then analyzed by a specially trained nurse in cardiac clinic. This is a service that is in use in other countries in Europe, but not in Norway yet. The service is therefore new as hospital service in Norway.
The study aims to document the clinical benefits and cost-effectiveness of the service implemented in Northern Norway. Our hypothesis is that the costs associated with the establishment and operation of the service will be balanced out by the savings that service can give in relation to the use of clinical resources.
The study will include 40 patients and will focus on the following research questions:
- Have the remote monitoring of CHF patients at home led to a reduction of the number of readmissions?
- Is the remote monitoring of CHF patients a cost effective service?
- Provides remote monitoring of CHF patients improving patients' quality of life?
The project results will be presented in several ways. The results will be published in conferences and scientific journals.