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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.

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