Telemonitoring in patients with heart failure: Is there a long-term effect?

Arno J. Gingele*, Hanspeter Brunner-la Rocca, Bram Ramaekers, Anton Gorgels, Gerjan De Weerd, Johannes Kragten, Vanessa van Empel, Vincent Brandenburg, Hubertus Vrijhoef, Ger Cleuren, Christian Knackstedt, Josiane J. J. Boyne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction Evidence suggests that telemonitoring decreases mortality and heart failure (HF)-related hospital admission in patients with HF. However, most studies follow their patients for only several months. Little is known about the long-term effects of telemonitoring after a period of application. Methods In 2007, the TEHAF study was initiated to compare tailored telemonitoring with usual care with respect to time until first HF-related hospital admission. In total, 301 patients completed the study after a follow-up period of one year. No differences could be found in time to first HF-related admission between intervention and control groups. Here, we performed a retrospective analysis in order to investigate potential long-term effects of telemonitoring. The primary endpoint was time to first HF-related hospital admission. Secondary endpoints were, amongst others, all-cause mortality, hospital admission due to HF and days alive and out of hospital (DAOOH). Electronic files of all included patients were reviewed between October 2007 and September 2015. Result Mean follow-up duration was 1652 days (standard deviation: 1055 days). No significant difference in time to first HF-related hospital admission (log-rank test, p = 0.15), all-cause mortality (log-rank test, p = 0.43), or DAOOH (two-sample t-test, p = 0.87) could be found. However, patients that underwent telemonitoring had significantly fewer HF-related hospital admissions (incident rate ratio 0.54, 95% confidence interval 0.31-0.88). Discussion Telemonitoring did not significantly influence the long-term outcome in our study. Therefore, extending the follow-up period of telemonitoring studies in HF patients is probably not beneficial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-166
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Heart failure
  • telemonitoring
  • long-term effects
  • hospital admission
  • mortality
  • CARE

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