New research shows that all-cause and cardiovascular mortality decreased following the implementation of digital health interventions.
Research published in the International Journal of Cardiology found that all-cause and cardiovascular deaths decreased after implementing various digital health interventions (DHI), including telehealth, remote patient monitoring, and smartphone applications.
The study consisted of an analysis of 7,204 patients from 10 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that researchers found using various databases such as MEDLINE, Cochrane, OVID, CINHAL, and ERIC. On average, the one-year mortality rate among chronic heart failure (HF) patients in the data set was 7.2 percent, and the one-year hospitalization rate was 25 percent.
Researchers then examined data from cases involving any DHI.
The primary piece of outcomes data they extracted was all-cause mortality, followed by cardiovascular mortality, all-cause hospitalizations, HF-related hospitalizations, and days lost to both all-cause hospitalizations and HF-related hospitalizations.
Researchers found that patients in the DHI group had lower all-cause mortality at 8.5 percent, compared to the 10.2 percent of the control group.
They also found that patients in the DHI group had lower cardiovascular mortality at 7.3 percent compared to the 9.6 percent among those in the control group.
The number of lost days due to HF-related hospitalizations was also lower in the DHI group.
Researchers concluded that DHI was conducive to reducing heart failure mortality.
They also concluded that while DHI was linked to a reduction in all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, it did not cause a decline in hospitalization for all-cause and HF-related cases for patients with a history of readmission.
Based on these findings, researchers determined that although there is room for improvement, DHI has the potential to enhance outcomes among HF patients. As DHI continues to advance, researchers believe that certain strategies may have the potential to further reduce hospital readmissions related to heart failure and mortality.
Some of the study’s limitations that researchers noted included the use of study-level data as opposed to patient-level data, a potentially limited database of referenced data, variations in study endpoints, and a lack of representation of women.
The study aligns with previous research that found that DHI can provide several healthcare benefits.
A study from December 2021 found that DHI using computer and smartphone devices assisted in reducing depression symptoms for many patients. Specifically, these services included online programs, websites, and other applications that provided education and support.
Another study from February 2020 explained how children with ADHD saw benefits from using mHealth tools. Researchers from Duke University used video gaming services to increase the attention spans of children with the disorder.
More recently, researchers from the University of Michigan found that a smartwatch feature could use heart rate data to track the symptoms of COVID-19 as it progressed in the body.
Written by Mark Melchionna | Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash