The Particulars: In-office visits are typically necessary to follow-up with heart failure (HF) patients who have received implantable-cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) or cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-Ds). Fitting these devices with telemonitoring technology may allow for earlier detection of potential problems.

Data Breakdown: For a study, patients requiring CRT-Ds or ICDs were fitted with telemonitoring devices. Participants were randomized to receive devices that transmitted data immediately to clinicians (telemonitored) or to having this data withheld until the end of the study (control). Telemonitored patients had significantly lower rates of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality than controls. Controls also fared worse on a composite score or mortality, overnight hospitalization for worsened HF, and NYHA class global self-assessment.

Take Home Pearl: HF patients appear to experience significant survival benefits when their ICDs or CRT-Ds include a telemonitoring function when compared with relying on follow-up office visits.