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
  • Stroke.

Findings

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).

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