Telemonitoring in heart failure: A state-of-the-art review
Heart failure is associated with high costs which are mainly the result of recurrent hospital admissions. New strategies to detect early decompensation and prevent heart failure-related hospitalizations and reduce total health care costs are needed. Telemonitoring is a novel tool based on the use of recent communication technologies to monitor simple clinical variables, in order to enable early detection of heart failure decompensation, providing an opportunity to prevent hospitalization. From conventional telemonitoring to more recent strategies using implantable cardiac devices or implantable hemodynamic monitors, the subject is under active investigation. Despite the beneficial effects reported by meta-analyses of small non-controlled studies, major randomized controlled trials have failed to demonstrate a positive impact of this strategy. Additionally, evidence regarding the value of newer monitoring devices is somewhat contradictory, as some studies show benefits in prognosis which are not confirmed by others. This paper provides an overview of the existing evidence on telemonitoring in heart failure and a comprehensive state-of-the-art discussion on this topic.