Telehealth saves anually $2,931 per COPD patient!

Research was conducted to determine if “self-monitoring via home-based telehealth equipment could, when combined with ongoing remote monitoring by a nurse, reduce the incidence of hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) presentations for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).” The vital signs monitored were; blood pressure, weight, temperature, pulse, and oxygen saturation levels. These vital signs were automatically sent to the telehealth nurse by telephone. If recorded measurements were out of patient’s normal parameters, specified by their GP or specialist, it triggered an alert to the nurse and he or she would undertake action. Vitaphone supports this type of setup to manage chronic diseases. Especially because it results in cost savings as demonstrated in this report.

An important result is that the telehealth group visited the hospital 10 times less as the control group did; 26 visits in the control group versus 16 visits in the telehealth user group. This resulted in 77 less hospital stay days over 6 months; 162 hospital days in the control group vs. 85 hospital days in the telehealth group.

The participant satisfaction in this research was also great:

“Approximately half felt that the telehealth intervention had reduced the number of times they had been to the hospital. Participants commented that in the past they may have gone to the hospital because they were worried or anxious about breathing difficulties, but being able to take their own measurements reassured them that their measures were within normal limits.”

“Participants generally agreed that receiving telehealth monitoring had provided reassurance and peace of mind knowing that a nurse was monitoring their results daily. Participants described having more control over their condition and being more confident in self-managing their condition as they were now more conscious of what their body was doing.”

It is great to see these numbers and the satisfaction level proof, what we advertise… go telehealth, go!

Author: Indy Kavelaars @ Vitaphone Netherlands

Source: Telehealth Remote Monitoring for Community-Dwelling Older Adults with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, by Kristen De San Miguel, BSc, Joanna Smith, BPsych, and Gill Lewin, BSc Hons, MSc, MPH, PhD, Published in Telemedicine and e-Health, September 2013

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One thought on “Telehealth saves anually $2,931 per COPD patient!

  1. Phil Seeney says:

    This is a very interesting result and backs up previous research in Asthma. Those of us in the industry also ‘fee’ that monitoring, support and intervantion can have a very positive impact in both specific patient health terms and significantly reducing the cost of healthcare in a holistic model. In fact we first put discreet monitoring electronics in a DPI in the 90’s for clinical trial data gathering ans saw its potential then. The issue however, is who pays and who reaps the reward? Overall, society does so no problem…..but if the innovator introduces a slightly more expensive product but cant get full reimbursement how does that innovator receive a share of the downstream savings from reduced hospital visits or stays?

    I firmly believe using advanced technology is one of the ways we will reduce healthcare costs in a big way but the cost and reward model may have to change to achieve the savings for society.

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