Monthly Archives: February 2016

telemedicine

Telemedicine in Senior Living Communities to Reduce ED Visit

-Gillespie, SM, et al. Telemedicine and e-Health. January 2016.

A group of researchers from the University of Rochester School of Medicine recently published an article looking at high intensity telemedicine in senior living community residents and its effect on emergency department utilization.   They looked at data from a prospective cohort study and compared the annual rate of change in ED use among patients who resided in communities that were more engaged in telemedicine services with those who resided in less engaged communities.

During the study there were a total of 503 telemedicine visits, with 72% in the more engaged community and 28% in the less engaged.  For those residing in a more engaged community, they found that ED use decreased at an annualized rate of 28% whereas those in the less engaged there was no significant change in ED use.

This study provides promising results on a means to improve ED utilization in a high risk population, senior citizens, using telemedicine.  Hopefully, this will lead to further research on ways to expand the use of telehealth to other patient populations.

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A New Concept for Home Monitoring of Heart Failure Patients

-Bennett, MK et al. J Telemed Telecare. December 2015

Patients with heart failure are considered a high risk population for admission and readmission after an exacerbation requiring hospitalization.  Using telehealth to monitor these patients is one of the primary areas of interest in telemedicine research.   The hope is to identify early physiologic parameters that may allow for intervention before a readmission occurs.  Recently, a group published a study using a new under- the- mattress piezoelectric sensor to monitor patients with heart failure to test the feasibility.

The group studied 30 patients recently discharged from the hospital with heart failure.  The sensor placed under the mattress is able to report heart rate, respiratory rate, rapid and shallow breathing patterns, and movement rate.  They were able to obtain data on 29 patients. There were 9 readmissions in the group.  They found that, patients readmitted for heart failure had higher average heart and respiration rates, and more respiratory variability.

The authors conclude that they have provided evidence that physiologic data can be obtained using this technology that helps to identify patients that may be at risk for readmission. They further hope that their study serves as a foundation for more studies using this new telehealth home monitoring equipment.