Telemedicine in Sleep Breathing Disorders: a Multicenter Study.
In recent years medicine has been enhanced by the incorporation of technological innovations from areas as diverse as cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, biophysics and bioengineering. One of the few exceptions in this rapid process of implementing technological advances occurs in clinical medicine, where its penetration is much less effective than in other scientific and professional fields, or even in everyday life. Attempts to tackle this problem have given rise to various initiatives in the US and Europe, including Spain.
There is a surprising paucity of telemedicine systems in clinical practice, especially with respect to sleep-related breathing disorders, and most particularly obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), where protocols are urgently needed to alleviate this healthcare problem represented by its under-diagnosis and comorbidity, as well as the long waiting lists for treatment. In others words, the growing awareness of sleep disorders, especially OSA, has not been accompanied by strategic changes in the cost-effective diagnosis and/or treatment of these diseases.
CPAP therapy compliance is not always appropriate. Helping patients during the first two months usually determines compliance. Therefore, the development of strategies to support the patient during the first weeks is essential. However, this "collides" with reality, where it is difficult to properly care all patients because of congested sleep units. It is therefore necessary to implement new and imaginative control schemes especially at the beginning of the treatment. Patients' follow-up performed by telemedicine technology is an option that aims to substitute the face-to-face visits or at least reduce them considerably. In a future context, the idea is that the professional in charge of CPAP patients monitoring has on his/her agenda face-to-face visits and televisits (at distance) and information which patient will provide through online questionnaires with a certain frequency.
In this sense, this project aims to analyze whether CPAP treatment compliance of OSA patients monitored by telemedicine techniques (website and televisits) is similar to that achieved by standard monitoring but more cost-effective. The study design is a multicenter randomized trial with parallel groups and blind final evaluation after CPAP treatment following two different strategies: one through conventional monitoring in the hospital (face-to-face visiting) and another by telemedicine monitoring (non-contact visiting and website).
|Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome||Other: Telemedicine CPAP monitoring (webpage and televisit) Other: Standard CPAP monitoring|
- CPAP compliance [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
- Cost-effectiveness [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
- Quality of life [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
|Primary Completion Date:||September 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
|Active Comparator: Standard CPAP follow-up||Other: Standard CPAP monitoring|
|Experimental: Telemedicine CPAP follow-up||Other: Telemedicine CPAP monitoring (webpage and televisit)|
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01716676
|Hospital Clínic de Barcelona|
|Barcelona, Spain, 08036|