Remote monitoring of heart patients has reduced the number of deaths and hospitalisation from chronic heart failure, according to studies on telephone and wireless monitoring published in the Cochrane Systematic Review.

In telephone monitoring, patients inform their heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure and weight to a heart specialist over the phone. In contrast, telemonitoring involves digital, wireless or Bluetooth transmission of data to a heart specialist.

The studies in the review involved 9,500 participants whose monitoring were either conventional or through technology. The two methods were compared and the peer review of the studies showed that 102 out of every 1,000 heart patients who were monitored remotely survived.

Both structured telephone support and telemonitoring significantly reduced the number of patients who were admitted to hospital due to worsening of heart failure, the review said. Hospitalisations due to heart failure occurred at a rate of 164 per 1000 with structured telephone support compared to 213 in a control group, and at a rate of 225 per 1000 with telemonitoring compared to 285 in a control group.

Some studies that were also reviewed showed patients' quality of life improved and health care costs had been reduced through telemonitoring and telephone support.