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Invited Commentary
May 28, 2012

Another Sobering Result for Home Telehealth—and Where We Might Go Next: Comment on “A Randomized Controlled Trial of Telemonitoring in Older Adults With Multiple Health Issues to Prevent Hospitalizations and Emergency Department Visits”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine (Drs Wilson and Cram), and Center for Comprehensive Access & Delivery Research and Evaluation, Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Dr Cram), Iowa City.

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(10):779-780. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.685

Rapid advances in technology combined with increasing demand for interventions that can “bend the cost curve” have stoked widespread interest in telehealth technologies. Telehealth has been broadly defined as “the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health, and health administration.”1 In this issue of the Archives, Takahashi et al2 report on the results of a rigorous randomized controlled trial of telemonitoring in older adults at high risk for hospitalization. They found that in-home monitoring of biometrics (eg, blood pressure and weight) and symptoms failed to reduce hospital readmissions or the need for emergency department (ED) visits compared with usual care.