Jimenez-Marrero S, Yun S, Cainzos-Achirica M, Enjuanes C, Garay A, Farre N, Verdu JM, Linas A, Ruiz P, Hidalgo E, Calero E, Comín-Colet J. Impact of telemedicine on the clinical outcomes and healthcare costs of patients with chronic heart failure and mid-range or preserved ejection fraction managed in a multidisciplinary chronic heart failure programme: a sub-analysis of the iCOR randomized trial. J Telemed Telecare. 2018 Sep 7. doi: 10.1177/1357633X18796439.

BACKGROUND: The efficacy of telemedicine in the management of patients with chronic heart failure and left ventricular ejection fraction ≥40% is poorly understood. The aim of our analysis was to evaluate the efficacy of a telemedicine-based intervention specifically in these patients, as compared to standard of care alone.

METHODS: The Insuficiència Cardiaca Optimització Remota (iCOR) study was a single centre, randomised, controlled trial, designed to evaluate a telemedicine intervention added to an existing hospital/primary care multidisciplinary, integrated programme for chronic heart failure patients. 178 participants were randomised to telemedicine or usual care, and were followed for six months. For the present sub-analysis, only iCOR participants (n = 116) with left ventricular ejection fraction ≥40% were included. The primary study endpoint was the incidence of an acute non-fatal heart failure event, defined as a new episode of worsening of symptoms and signs consistent with acute heart failure requiring intravenous diuretic therapy. The healthcare-related costs in each study group were also evaluated.

RESULTS: The incidence of the first occurrence of the primary endpoint was significantly lower in the telemedicine arm (22% vs 56%, p<0.001), with a hazard ratio of 0.33 comparing to the usual care arm (95% confidence interval 0.17-0.64). Telemedicine was also associated with lower mean overall chronic heart failure care-related costs compared to usual care (8163€ vs 4993€, p=0.001). The results were consistent in both left ventricular ejection fraction of 40-49% and left ventricular ejection fraction ≥50% patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that telemedicine is a promising strategy for the management of chronic heart failure patients with left ventricular ejection fraction ≥40%. These findings should be replicated in larger cohorts.

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