Patient engagement in remote monitoring tested…

…and found disappointing. A recent study by Cleveland Clinic researchers just published in the Heart Rhythm Society journal tested cardiovascular device implants in 434 patients over a two week period in a busy device clinic. Their observation was that the remote monitoring (manually performed over a land line) saved time, but that 49.2% of patients missed their scheduled transmission time. What is more, the follow up with patients who missed their transmissions ate up nearly an hour of office time (mean). Now one can say the inconvenience factors (manual and land line, not mobile) decreased participation, but lack of patient compliance is not unusual in patient engagement studies with even mobile programs over time. The FierceHealthIT article contrasts findings to a more positive Italian study with implantable defibrillators and more equivocal studies conducted by Purdue University and Mayo Clinic.

Update 13 August: InMedica/IMS Health’sThe World Market for Telehealth – An Analysis of Demand Dynamics – 2012 Edition takes a different position–that for clinical results to be effective, all ‘stakeholders’ have to be engaged: patients, patients’ friends and family, clinicians, nurses and caregivers. And that engagement drives the economics: by reducing cost and ‘burden of care’, patients and providers will be willing to co-pay for telehealth’s managed services. It’s the FBQs* again, especially the fifth. IMS Health release.

* The Five Big Questions (FBQs)–who pays, how much, who’s looking at the data, who’s actioning it, how data is integrated into patient records.