Lately, we’ve been hearing about how well telemedicine and remote patient monitoring can lessen hospital readmissions, reduce costs, and improve efficiencies, but does it really help the patients? A new meta-analysis says the answer is a resounding “Yes.”
Researchers from the University of Michigan, University of Kentucky, and other organizations examined telehealth-related studies published over the last 15 years to determine the impact of telemonitoring on the quality, access, and cost of care for managing three chronic diseases: congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and stroke.
What they found is encouraging. Among these studies, telemonitoring offers significant benefits such as:
- Reduced hospital admissions/re-admissions
- Reduced length of hospital stays
- Less visits to the emergency department
- Reduced mortality
Of the 177 papers reviewed, few reported neutral or mixed findings.
Studies were included in the analysis if they demonstrated robust research methods and a sample size of at least 150 subjects. The targeted chronic diseases were selected specifically for their responsiveness to timely interventions and secondary prevention through remote monitoring.
As the researchers concluded, “There is an ever-growing and complex body of empirical evidence that attests to the potential of telemedicine for addressing problems of access to care, quality of care and healthcare costs in the management of the three chronic diseases chosen for this review.”
This latest news confirms what those of us in telemedicine have known all along: Telemedicine services can enhance our existing healthcare system by supplementing in-person visits with a cost-effective and efficient solution while maintaining—or even improving—quality of care.