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Home monitoring with technology-supported management in chronic heart failure: a randomised trial

Abstract

Objectives We aimed to investigate whether digital home monitoring with centralised specialist support for remote management of heart failure (HF) is more effective in improving medical therapy and patients’ quality of life than digital home monitoring alone.

Methods In a two-armed partially blinded parallel randomised controlled trial, seven sites in the UK recruited a total of 202 high-risk patients with HF (71.3 years SD 11.1; left ventricular ejection fraction 32.9% SD 15.4). Participants in both study arms were given a tablet computer, Bluetooth-enabled blood pressure monitor and weighing scales for health monitoring. Participants randomised to intervention received additional regular feedback to support self-management and their primary care doctors received instructions on blood investigations and pharmacological treatment. The primary outcome was the use of guideline-recommended medical therapy for chronic HF and major comorbidities, measured as a composite opportunity score (total number of recommended treatment given divided by the total number of opportunities the treatment should have been given, with a score 1 indicating 100% adherence to recommendations). Co-primary outcome was change in physical score of Minnesota Living with Heart Failure questionnaire.

Results 101 patients were randomised to ‘enhanced self-management’ and 101 to ‘supported medical management’. At the end of follow-up, the opportunity score was 0.54 (95% CI 0.46 to 0.62) in the control arm and 0.61 (95% CI 0.52 to 0.70) in the intervention arm (p=0.25). Physical well-being of participants also did not differ significantly between the groups (17.4 (12.4) mean (SD) for control arm vs 16.5 (12.1) in treatment arm; p for change=0.84).

Conclusions Central provision of tailored specialist management in a multi-morbid HF population was feasible. However, there was no strong evidence for improvement in use of evidence-based treatment nor health-related quality of life.

Trial registration number ISRCTN86212709

  • heart failure
  • quality and outcomes of care
  • health care delivery
  • eHealth/telemedicine/mobile health
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