The main conclusions are as follows:
- The studies identified found telemonitoring to be clinically effective in patients with diabetes, hypertension or asthma. This efficacy is more clearly demonstrated in patients whose health at the outset is considered very poor, those who accept their condition, those who wish to play an active role in managing their health, and those who are motivated to use such technological devices.
- In general, telemonitoring allows a better understanding of the patient’s health, better control of the symptoms associated with the disease, greater pharmacologic therapeutic compliance and, as a result, greater patient empowerment.
- Telemonitoring leads to a reduction in the demand for health care, in particular, in patients with heart failure or COPD.
- Fifty percent of the studies showed a significant decrease in service consumption (e.g., emergency room visits, physician office visits, and hospitalizations). The other half permits the conclusion that both modalities (telemonitoring and conventional home follow-up) are equivalent in this regard.
- Lastly, given the paucity of evidence and the ambiguity of the results obtained thus far, no firm conclusions can be drawn regarding the economic viability of home telemonitoring. More thorough and rigorous economic studies are therefore recommended.
The success of such projects depends, to a large extent, on a holistic view and proactive management of the various issues and risks involved, because the technological devices provided to the patients cannot, by themselves, guarantee that the desired effects will materialize.