a1 Canada Research Chair in Information Technology in Health Care, HEC Montréal
a2 Faculty of Management, Université du Québec à Montréal
a3 Health Administration Department, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal
Objectives: There have been very few assessments of the economics of home telemonitoring, and the quality of evidence has often been weakened by methodological flaws. This has made it difficult to compare telehomecare with traditional home care for the chronic diseases studied. This economic analysis is an attempt to address this gap in the literature.
Methods: We have analyzed the consumption of healthcare services by 95 patients with various chronic diseases over a 21-month period, that is, 12 months before, 4 months during home telemonitoring use, and over 5 months after withdraw of the technology.
Results: Our findings indicate significant benefits to the home telemonitoring program as evidenced by large reductions in number of hospitalizations, length of average hospital stay, and, to a lesser extent, number of emergency room visits. Contrary to expectations, however, the number of home visits by nurses increased both during and after the telemonitoring intervention. In terms of the financial analysis, the telehomecare program resulted in significant savings: the equivalent of over CAD1,557 per patient as calculated on an annualized basis. This represents a net gain of 41 percent as compared to traditional home care.
Conclusions: While the present economic analysis led to positive results, additional assessments should be conducted to confirm the cost-effectiveness of this mode of care delivery.