In the News
Telemonitoring may not improve outcomes in heart failure patients. In a 33-site, randomized controlled study of 1,653 patients recently hospitalized for heart failure, outcomes were nearly identical in 826 heart-failure patients who participated in remote telemonitoring and 827 who received usual care, according to a study in the December 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The primary end point studied—death or hospital readmission for any reason—occurred in 432 (52.3%) of the telemonitoring patients, compared with 426 (51.5%) of the usual-care patients. Patients were enrolled from 2006 through 2009 and followed for six months. Of the 826 patients assigned to telemonitoring, 119 (14%) never used the system; only 55% were still using the system at least three times a week by the final week of the study. Both groups of patients were similar demographically: 42% were female, and 39% were black; the median age was 61.