Study: Telemedicine Improves Chronic Disease Management
September 12, 2014 in News
Telemedicine can help cut costs and improve care management for patients with chronic illnesses but adopting a uniform approach to telemedicine services would not be effective, according to a study published in the journal Telemedicine and e-Health, FierceHealthIT reports (Dvorak, FierceHealthIT, 9/11).
Details of Study
Researchers analyzed telemedicine studies published between 2000 and 2014 that met a certain standard of “scientific merit” (Telemedicine and e-Health study, September 2014). They examined the studies to determine the effect that telemedicine had on care access, cost and quality for:
- Congestive heart failure;
- Obstructive pulmonary disease; and
The study found that the three chronic diseases were best treated by different telemedicine methods. For example:
- Congestive heart failure was best managed by long-term telemonitoring;
- Obstructive pulmonary disease was best treated with telepulmonology that remotely measures lung function; and
- Stroke was most effectively treated via telestroke methods that prompt early interventions.
The authors noted that the results indicate that a “homogenous telemedicine landscape now or in the future is beyond reasonable expectation.”
However, the study found that the use of telemedicine — regardless of method — reduced readmissions, length of hospital stays and the number of deaths. Further, telemedicine enabled patients to be more engaged in their health management (FierceHealthIT, 9/11).