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Due to demographic changes and the high costs of inpatient care, the new care goal is to increase the proportion of patients who can be cared for on an outpatient basis.
Telemedicine has played a major role for the past ten years in this realm. The basic idea is that through the transmission of vital parameters, early decompensation in the sense of an early warning system can be recognized early on, and, if necessary, can still be cared for on an outpatient basis. Current clinical studies (TEHAF, TIM-HF, CHAMPION, TELE-HF, TIM-HF2, OSICAT, AMULET) have shown that telemedicine is a useful instrument for patient guidance for patients with chronic heart failure at a certain stage of the disease and for a certain duration. The TIM-HF2 study was able to demonstrate for the first time in 2018 that patients who receive 24/7 telemedicine care spend less time, and have less frequent in hospital visits and have a lower mortality rate. You can read more information about this study here: Press release study results TIM-HF2 (in German only)
The event of cardiac decompensation defines the need for telemedical support for at least the next twelve months. This affects around 150,000 to 200,000 patients annually in Germany.
In addition to the monitor system used, the structure of the telemedical care by specialist doctors and nursing staff is also essential. Cooperation with general practitioners and specialists in private practice plays a particularly important role here. Telemedicine can only prove the positive effects if it does not act in competition but as a supplement to face-to-face medicine.