Telemonitoring for Seniors Fails to Reduce Hospitalizations says Report

Several governments in countries around the world are experimenting with mobile healthcare technology, including remote monitoring for seniors, but a new study found that among older patients, telemonitoring did not result in fewer hospitalizations or emergency department visits.

In fact, the study showed that seniors in the telemonitoring group actually had a higher mortality rate (at 14.7%) than those in the “usual” care group (3.9%), although the cause for this is unknown.

This study could negate findings about mobile health technology from Telenor Group, which released a presentation on the socio-economic impact of mobile health technology detailing the impact it had in 12 countries that were running or testing pilot programs.

Remote monitoring and mobile health technology can enable seniors to live independently, safely, and more cost-effectively in their homes through systems that can send relevant information and alarms to caregivers and health professionals, said Telenor.

The trial on telemonitoring versus “usual” care, conducted by multiple healthcare professionals, sought to assess the differences in hospitalizations and emergency department visits among older adults depending on which method of care they were using, with this premise: “Efficiently caring for frail older adults will become an increasingly important part of health care reform; telemonitoring within homes may be an answer to improve outcomes.”

For the 60+ study participants, all at high risk for rehospitalization, those in the telemonitoring group used technology relaying daily biometrics, symptom reporting, and videoconference. Out of 205 enrolled participants, with a mean age of 80.3 years, the primary outcome of hospitalizations and emergency department visits didn’t differ between the two groups, and telemonitoring did not result in fewer hospitalizations.

The trial report, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, can be accessed here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

Alyssa Gerace

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