Wireless monitoring could mean fewer Hospital admissions

Researchers have found that using an implanted device to remotely monitor people with heart failure could reduce hospital admissions by 39 per cent.

The American study compared standard treatments, where patients self-report changes in symptoms and record their daily weight, with the additional use of an implanted device that measures pressure within the arteries connecting the heart and lungs.

They found those using the implanted device were less likely to be admitted to hospital.

Amy Thompson, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Telemonitoring, in which patients self-report their symptoms and are often telephoned at home by medical staff, has already shown positive benefits for heart failure patients in the UK.

“This interesting study considers a possible next stage, where an implanted device also records internal pressures which can give an earlier indication of problems.

“While this research finds the wireless device reduces hospitals admissions for some people with moderate heart failure, it requires an invasive procedure and the researchers did not measure its impact on long term survival rates. We’d need to see much more research and larger trials before we could be confident this is a practical next step for monitoring heart failure patients.

“In the meantime, we know all heart failure patients would benefit from having a full cardiological assessment and specialist nursing support, such as a BHF-funded heart failure nurse. These nurses have been proven to reduce hospital admissions by 35 per cent, significantly improving patients’ quality and length of life, and reducing costs for the health service.”

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