Clinical Outcomes Associated with Telemedicine/Telehealth

Partners Telemedicine, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
Telemedicine and e-Health (Impact Factor: 1.67). 07/2005; 11(3):329-47. DOI: 10.1089/tmj.2005.11.329
Source: PubMed


This paper is a comprehensive review and synthesis of the literature concerning clinical outcomes associated with various telemedicine applications. It starts out with a brief description of the findings reported by similar literature reviews already published. Subsequently, it proposes a conceptual model for assessing clinical outcomes based on Donabedian's formulation of the Medical Care Process. Accordingly, research findings are reported in terms of the relevant components of the medical care process, namely, diagnosis, clinical management, and clinical outcomes. Specific findings are organized according to the designated clinical and diagnostic application. This is followed by a general report of studies dealing with patient satisfaction.

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    • "Another review of different types of telehealthcare in mixed chronic diseases found that, although clinical outcomes did not improve significantly, patients were overwhelmingly satisfied with the technology. In one study they rated telehealthcare an average of 4 out of 5 on a Likert scale [51]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Telehealthcare involves the use of information and communication technologies to deliver healthcare at a distance and to support patient self-management through remote monitoring and personalised feedback. It is timely to scrutinise the evidence regarding the benefits, risks and costs of telehealthcare. Two reviewers searched for relevant systematic reviews published from January 1997 to November 2011 in: The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS, IndMed and PakMed. Reviewers undertook independent quality assessment of studies using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) tool for systematic reviews. 1,782 review articles were identified, from which 80 systematic reviews were selected for inclusion. These covered a range of telehealthcare models involving both synchronous (live) and asynchronous (store-and-forward) interactions between provider and patients. Many studies showed no differences in outcomes between telehealthcare and usual care. Several reviews highlighted the large number of short-term (<12 months) feasibility studies with under 20 participants. Effects of telehealthcare on health service indicators were reported in several reviews, particularly reduced hospitalisations. The reported clinical effectiveness of telehealthcare interventions for patients with long-term conditions appeared to be greatest in those with more severe disease at high-risk of hospitalisation and death. The failure of many studies to adequately describe the intervention makes it difficult to disentangle the contributions of technological and human/organisational factors on the outcomes reported. Evidence on the cost-effectiveness of telehealthcare remains sparse. Patient safety considerations were absent from the evaluative telehealthcare literature. Policymakers and planners need to be aware that investment in telehealthcare will not inevitably yield clinical or economic benefits. It is likely that the greatest gains will be achieved for patients at highest risk of serious outcomes. There is a need for longer-term studies in order to determine whether the benefits demonstrated in time limited trials are sustained.
    PLoS ONE 08/2013; 8(8):e71238. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0071238 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Often aware of when their elderly patients seek health care in the ED, primary care physicians could suggest that the spouse come in for a check up or to discuss how s/he is handling things at home, and/or point out resources that are available in the community. With the advent of telehealth, additional opportunities for interventions designed to support vulnerable caregivers will become available[44]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Family doctors have been ascribed a role in monitoring patients and their informal caregivers. Little is known about the factors that might alert physicians to changing circumstances or needs of the caregivers. The study objective was to examine changes in family caregivers' quality of life following an emergency department (ED) visit by an older community-dwelling relative that might cue doctors to subsequent caregiver distress. A longitudinal study with follow-up at 1- and 4-months was conducted in the EDs of 4 hospitals in Montreal, Canada. Caregivers reported on demographics and quality of life (SF-36). Patients reported on demographics and functional disability. Multiple linear regression for repeated measures was used to evaluate changes in caregiver quality of life and factors related to these changes. 159 caregivers (60.5 yrs +/- 15.8%; 73.0% female), including 68 (42.8%) spouses, 60 (37.7%) adult children, and 31 (19.5%) other relatives participated. Following an initial ED visit by older relatives, caregiver general health and physical functioning declined over time, while mental health status improved. Compared to the other relative caregiver group, spouses were at increased risk for decline in general health, mental health, and physical functioning at 1 month, while adult children were at increased risk for decline in physical health at 1 month. Spouses were most at risk for decline in quality of life. Primary care physicians who become aware of an ED visit by an elderly person may be alerted to possible subsequent deterioration in family caregivers, especially spouses.
    BMC Family Practice 02/2006; 7(1):46. DOI:10.1186/1471-2296-7-46 · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Existing standards of the management of the diabetic patients are not efficient enough, and further improvement is needed. The major objective of this paper is to present and discuss the therapeutic effectiveness of an intensive care telematic system designed and applied for intensive treatment of pregnant type 1 diabetic women. The developed system operates automatically, every night transferring all the data recorded during the day in the patient's glucometer memory to a central clinical unit. In order to assess the efficiency of the designed and developed system, a 3-year randomized prospective clinical trial was conducted, using the study group and the control group, each consisting of 15 pregnant type 1 diabetic women. All patients were treated by the same diabetologist. In the presented analysis, two indices calculated weekly were used for the assessment of glycemic control: MBG represents mean blood glucose level, and the universal J-index is sensitive to the glycemic level and glycemic variations. The most important results from the study concern: (a) better glycemic control in the study group in comparison with the control group during the course of treatment, as assessed by the average differences of the MBG and J indices calculated weekly (n = 24) (deltaMBG = -3.2 +/- 4.3 mg/dL, p = 0.0016, deltaJ = -1.4 +/- 2.3, p = 0.0065); (b) much more similar results in glycemic control among members of the study group compared to each other, than among members of the control group compared to each other, as indicated by significantly lower variations of the applied glycemic control indices (SDMBG: 11.9 vs. 18.7 mg/dL, p = 0.0498; SDJ: 6.5 vs. 10.9, p = 0.0318); (c) the observed tendency of a better glycemic control for patients with a lower level of intelligence (IQ < 100) supported by the telematic system in comparison with all other assessed groups of patients. The last result was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). This telematic intensive care system improved the effectiveness of diabetes treatment during pregnancy. It also allows the diabetologist's strategy to be much more precise than if it were conducted without telematic support. This telematic system is inexpensive and simple in use.
    Diabetes Technology &amp Therapeutics 12/2001; 3(4):581-589. DOI:10.1089/15209150152811207 · 2.11 Impact Factor
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