Telemedicine Can Enhance Lives of Chronically Ill Patients

Royal Philips ElectronicsCARME (Catalan Remote Management Evaluation) study's preliminar results, conducted by Philips Healthcare and the Catalonian Health Service (ICS) show significant benefits in the management of certain chronic diseases, thanks to telemedicine, an innovative technique that allows the continuous monitoring and a higher patient's implication in the disease treatment. These results are presented during the II, Spanish Congress of Chronically Ill Patients Care which is being held in Santiago de Compostela on February 25 and 26.

The study evaluated the Philips' Motiva telemedicine system in patients with severe heart failure, who were monitored at home from the hospital. Furthermore, this tracking was supported with educational interventions via video and alerts that they received at their home's televisions. This pilot project, which opens the door to the use of this technology in patients with chronic diseases), has demonstrated an improvement in the reduction of hospitalizations as well as in the quality of life of the patients and their families.

According to Dr Mar Domingo, collaborator of the Heart Failure Unit of the German Trias i Pujol Hospital of Badalona - center managed by the Catalonian Health Service (ICS) - and one of the main researchers of the study, "the study's preliminary results shows up the advantages of this telemedicine systems and the benefits that they provide to the patient as well as to the clinical staff, as a tighter control of the disease from both sides, which enables acting faster in case that any anomaly would happen. Furthermore, patients themselves have perceived an improvement on their quality of life and have shown a very high satisfaction and confidence on the system and the information it provided to them." Having the results of this study, the ICS is considering to develop a similar model based on primary care settings and primary-specialized continuity care with the aim of analyzing its efficiency compared to other alternatives.

Improve the quality of life and reduction of hospitalizations
Specifically, the preliminary data shows that patients who participated on the study with MOTIVA showed an improvement in their perception of their quality of life, according to the questionnaire EuroQoL. At the beginning of the study, more than half of the patients (55, 88%) stated that their quality of life was medium or low. Six months later, this number had decreased to 29%, while at the end of the study it was reduced to 22%.

At the same time, the patients who set their quality of life index as middle-high grew from a 43, 6% at the beginning of the study to a 78% at the end of it, among whom, a 28% stated that their quality of life was almost excellent.

Moreover, the hospitalizations due to HF were reduced 68% during the one-year period of the study. Also, the patients positively improved their attitudes, except for the ones related to physical exercise and diet. This way, the patients experienced an improvement in their changes of attitude towards the illness, which at the same time was associated to an improvement in their perception of quality of life vs. baseline. The satisfaction towards MOTIVA was also very high.

The study's favorable results open the door to the use of MOTIVA and telemedicine solutions for chronically ill patients in primary care settings, where its usefulness can be higher. This way, MOTIVA offers to patients the benefits of better disease self-management and a higher knowledge and empowerment about it.

Also, for healthcare professionals MOTIVA and telemedicine solutions provide the chance for a tighter patient monitoring, enabling the early detection of any type of descompensation that may be detected, which makes easier its correction and prevent HF related events.

Study Facts
The primary objective of the CARME study was to evaluate the impact of MOTIVA, a Remote Patient Management solution within a Heart Failure (HF) Hospital Unit on patients' hospitalizations, quality of life (QoL) and attitudes, as well as the satisfaction towards this system. 97 patients with severe heart failure were enrolled and 68 of them completed the 12 months period of the study.

About Motiva
Philips Motiva is an interactive healthcare platform that connects patients with chronic conditions, e.g. (Chronic) Heart Failure, Diabetes Mellitus, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), to their healthcare providers - via the home television and a broadband internet connection.

Motiva automates disease management activities, and engages patients with personalized daily interactions and education delivered through the home television. The system enables healthcare providers to motivate behavior change through user-friendly technology, helping them meet goals for improved patient compliance, telehealth program efficiency, and lower healthcare costs.

In addition to automated vital signs monitoring, patients are supported by:

  • Educational material delivered as videos, with topics relevant to their individual healthcare needs.
  • Actionable feedback about vital signs measurements to help patients track progress toward personal goals.
  • Motivational messages from caregivers to help encourage healthy lifestyle choices for diet and exercise.
  • Health related surveys that evaluate patients’ comprehension, motivation, and self-efficacy levels; and provide subjective information to the remote caregiver about their current health status.

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About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified Health and Well-being company, focused on improving people's lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of "sense and simplicity". Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs approximately 116,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 23 billion in 2009, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.

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