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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Telemonitoring in asthma: Fact or fancy?

Asthma plans are widely used to help patients control their disease. It is thought that such plans have had a major impact on the reduction of hospitalizations and deaths seen in many countries. Telemonitoring may provide an additional benefit but its effectiveness has not been tested in a large study. In a newly published study, Ryan et al (BMJ, 2012 Mar 23;344:e1756) followed 288 adolescents and adults with poorly controlled asthma seen in primary care in the UK. Mobile-phone-based monitoring was compared with standard paper-based monitoring strategies. After 6 months, the authors found that the control of asthma, acute exacerbations, oral corticosteroid courses and unscheduled visits were not improved in the group followed by cell phones by comparison to the control group. The authors conclude that “Mobile technology does not improve asthma control or increase self efficacy compared with paper based monitoring when both groups received clinical care to guidelines standards. The mobile technology was not cost effective.”

Are you using telemonitoring? If so, what have you observed?

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