Congestive heart failure (CHF) affects nearly 5 million people in the United States with an annual cost of $30 billion. CHF has more dollars spent on diagnosis and treatment than any other diagnosis in the United States.
CHF has a tremendous impact on your loved ones and society. The increasing popularity of this condition has had a substantial economic impact on our health care system. Home health care has traditionally been a cost-effective alternative to hospitalization and people with CHF prefer the home setting to the hospital. The ever-increasing labor and administrative health care costs has motivated care providers to evaluate new technologies for home-based care. Remote monitoring between a health care provider and a patient in his or her home setting (home telemonitoring) is an emerging technology that has the potential to enable your loved ones with chronic illness such as CHF to remain at home while improving health care access and reducing health care costs.
Telemonitoring is a therapeutic tool that reduces costs and improves your loved one’s outcomes and satisfaction. In-home telemonitoring involves securely transmitting medical information from your home to a telehealth nurse. A device called a telemonitor is used to collect and send this data. The telemonitor is a discreet in-home device that allows you or your loved one to monitor daily vital signs, such as blood pressure, pulse, oxygen, glucose, and weight, as specified by their physician. Your loved one also answers a series of evaluative questions based on their specific illnesses. The data is transmitted to a nurse for review, who may take appropriate actions based on the data. The data may also be shared with your loved one’s physician.
In-home telemonitors are not intended to eliminate in-home nursing visits. But, they will help decrease the frequency of unnecessary visits, while maximizing the effectiveness of time spent by a nurse or therapist in your home. Telemonitoring in-home allows healthcare providers to collect vital data and transmit it to nurses and/or physicians daily for review; increase response to your needs as they occur; and provide you with the right care, in the right place, at the right time.