St. Lucas Andreas Hospital, Amsterdam has become the first in the Netherlands to introduce a remote monitoring system for cardiac patients into its daily operations.

The hospital in Amsterdam-West is to start monitoring more than 100 chronic heart failure patients at home using the Philips Motiva system. The aim is to improve the patients’ quality of life and reduce hospital admissions.

Patients with chronic heart failure run the risk of serious complications, such as shortness of breath and cardiac arrhythmia. They are asked to keep track of weight and blood pressure and report promptly readings above agreed thresholds.

However, many patients report a deterioration in their condition too late and have to be rushed to hospital either to see the consultant or be admitted or re-admitted.

Philips says that home monitoring can prevent emergency hospital visits and admissions among these patients. Using a broadband connection, the Motiva system sends the weight and blood pressure data to the hospital every day from a specially adapted weighing scale and blood pressure meter at the patient’s home. If the readings are too high, the system gives a warning signal and doctors can intervene immediately. In the near future the daily data recordings will also be sent to the patients’ GPs.

“By continually monitoring patients at home they don’t have to come as often to the hospital for check-ups. This greatly improves these patients’quality of life,” said cardiologist Dr. J. Schroeder-Tanka of the St. Lucas Andreas Hospital.

Patients can also receive information through the remote monitoring system on diet and lifestyle, for example, together with tips on muscle strengthening and instructions on how to deal with fluid retention.