Some positive telehealth results from Italy. A meta-analysis of data from 23 home-based blood pressure telehealth (HBPT) monitoring studies demonstrated the effectiveness of using HBPT to improve BP control in hypertensive patients versus office-only monitoring. For the HBPT group, overall costs were higher and more medications were prescribed, but medical cost-only comparisons were similar as was risk of adverse events. Quality of life measurements were better. The analysis was performed by researchers from the Italian Institute of Telemedicine (IIT) in Varese with the collaboration of the Department of Cardiology, IRCCS Ospedale, San Luca, Istituto Auxologico Italiano and Department of Clinical Medicine and Prevention, University of Milano. Clinical usefulness and cost effectiveness of home blood pressure telemonitoring: meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies (Journal of Hypertension, March 2013; abstract only, subscription/access required)
Update 8 February: For a copy of the study, please email lead researcher Stefano Omboni of the IIT.