What your doctor is reading on Medscape.com:
APRIL 22, 2020 — Using a set of four smartphone-enabled monitoring devices to follow patients after an acute myocardial infarction (MI) provides blood pressure (BP) control similar to standard in-person visits, randomized data show.
Of special note, 90% of patients were satisfied with the smart technology intervention, called “The Box.”
The feasibility study was designed in 2015 when there was some skepticism toward e-health and what it may contribute, explained lead study author Roderick Treskes, PhD, Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands.
During planning meetings, cardiologists raised concerns that patients wouldn’t want or accept e-visits because of their age or lack of Internet access, even though around 95% of the Dutch population already had Internet access.
That was before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe and brought telehealth to the forefront of cardiology and other specialties.
“All of a sudden, this is now seen in a totally different light,” Treskes told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology. “Patients are anxious to come to the hospital and a lot of outpatient visits are canceled right now. This will do significant health damage in the long-term, so it’s important we continue that outpatient care delivery.”
“Given that our e-health strategy produces similar outcomes, we believe it’s a very good alternative to deliver outpatient care. And the fact we already have it in place has allowed us to respond very quickly during this COVID-19 pandemic,” he commented.
Based on their findings, published April 16 in JAMA Network Open, The Box is now being used for cardiology outpatients with heart failure or congenital heart disease, as well as for patients who have COVID-19, Treskes said. A study is also ongoing in patients who’ve had recent cardiac surgery.
“These results suggest that it is feasible to capture and transmit patient-generated data for a substantial proportion of patients with subsequent care delivery informed by data review,” Steven M. Bradley, MD, MPH, Minneapolis Heart Institute, Minnesota, says in an accompanying editorial.
The concepts of capturing and reviewing patient-generated data are not new, but mobile health can automate the process, he said. Additionally, scheduled in-person visits are ill equipped to prevent a decompensation in clinical status, and require travel and disrupt schedules for patients and their loved ones.