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      Telemedicine: Its Importance in Cardiology Practice. Experience in Chile

      , MD, FACC, FAHA , 1 , , MD, FACP 1

      Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications

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      telemedicine, telecardiology, information technology

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          Abstract

          There is a growing need worldwide to take medical care to distant locations far from the main urban centers, particularly to rural areas. Furthermore, there is the ethical imperative to provide equal access to medical care to all patients, regardless of their place of residence, so as to satisfy an increasingly demanding population. A widespread problem, from which cardiology is not excepted, is the insufficient number of specialists and their uneven distribution. The upsurge in information and communications technology has made available a large collection of tools, mainly computers, smartphones, e-mail, and the Internet, to name just a few, to meet the needs of communication between individuals and organizations. This article defines telemedicine and describes its application in the practice of cardiology and its impact in Chile.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Which components of heart failure programmes are effective? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the outcomes of structured telephone support or telemonitoring as the primary component of chronic heart failure management in 8323 patients: Abridged Cochrane Review.

          Telemonitoring (TM) and structured telephone support (STS) have the potential to deliver specialized management to more patients with chronic heart failure (CHF), but their efficacy is still to be proven. The aim of this meta-analysis was to review randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of TM or STS for all-cause mortality and all-cause and CHF-related hospitalizations in patients with CHF, as a non-invasive remote model of a specialized disease-management intervention. We searched all relevant electronic databases and search engines, hand-searched bibliographies of relevant studies, systematic reviews, and meeting abstracts. Two reviewers independently extracted all data. Randomized controlled trials comparing TM or STS to usual care in patients with CHF were included. Studies that included intensified management with additional home or clinic-visits were excluded. Primary outcomes (mortality and hospitalizations) were analysed; secondary outcomes (cost, length of stay, and quality of life) were tabulated. Thirty RCTs of STS and TM were identified (25 peer-reviewed publications (n= 8323) and five abstracts (n= 1482)). Of the 25 peer-reviewed studies, 11 evaluated TM (2710 participants), 16 evaluated STS (5613 participants) with two testing both STS and TM in separate intervention arms compared with usual care. Telemonitoring reduced all-cause mortality {risk ratio (RR) 0.66 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.54-0.81], P< 0.0001 }and STS showed a similar, but non-significant trend [RR 0.88 (95% CI 0.76-1.01), P= 0.08]. Both TM [RR 0.79 (95% CI 0.67-0.94), P= 0.008], and STS [RR 0.77 (95% CI 0.68-0.87), P< 0.0001] reduced CHF-related hospitalizations. Both interventions improved quality of life, reduced costs, and were acceptable to patients. Improvements in prescribing, patient-knowledge and self-care, and functional class were observed. Telemonitoring and STS both appear effective interventions to improve outcomes in patients with CHF. Systematic Review Number: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2008:Issue 3. Art. No.: CD007228. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007228.
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            Policy recommendations to guide the use of telemedicine in primary care settings: an American College of Physicians position paper.

            Telemedicine-the use of technology to deliver care at a distance-is rapidly growing and can potentially expand access for patients, enhance patient-physician collaboration, improve health outcomes, and reduce medical costs. However, the potential benefits of telemedicine must be measured against the risks and challenges associated with its use, including the absence of the physical examination, variation in state practice and licensing regulations, and issues surrounding the establishment of the patient-physician relationship. This paper offers policy recommendations for the practice and use of telemedicine in primary care and reimbursement policies associated with telemedicine use. The positions put forward by the American College of Physicians highlight a meaningful approach to telemedicine policies and regulations that will have lasting positive effects for patients and physicians.
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              A pharmacist-led, American Heart Association Heart360 Web-enabled home blood pressure monitoring program.

              To determine whether a pharmacist-led, Heart360-enabled, home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM) intervention improves blood pressure (BP) control compared with usual care (UC).
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                CVIA
                Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications
                CVIA
                Compuscript (Ireland )
                2009-8782
                2009-8618
                May 2017
                July 2017
                : 2
                : 3
                : 325-331
                Affiliations
                1Department of Medicine, University of Chile, International Telemedical System, Chile
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Edgardo Escobar, MD, FACC, FAHA, Department of Medicine, Universidad de Chile, Callao 3341, Santiago de Chile, 7550277, Chile, E-mail: e.escobar@ 123456itms.cl
                Article
                cvia20160043
                10.15212/CVIA.2016.0043
                Copyright © 2017 Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

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