Home Telemonitoring and a Diagnostic Algorithm in the Management of Heart Failure in the Netherlands: Cost-effectiveness Analysis

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Abstract

Background:
Heart failure is a major health concern associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and reduced quality of life in patients. Home telemonitoring (HTM) facilitates frequent or continuous assessment of disease signs and symptoms, and it has shown to improve compliance by involving patients in their own care and prevent emergency admissions by facilitating early detection of clinically significant changes. Diagnostic algorithms (DAs) are predictive mathematical relationships that make use of a wide range of collected data for calculating the likelihood of a particular event and use this output for prioritizing patients with regard to their treatment.

Objective:
This study aims to assess the cost-effectiveness of HTM and a DA in the management of heart failure in the Netherlands. Three interventions were analyzed: usual care, HTM, and HTM plus a DA.

Methods:
A previously published discrete event simulation model was used. The base-case analysis was performed according to the Dutch guidelines for economic evaluation. Sensitivity, scenario, and value of information analyses were performed. Particular attention was given to the cost-effectiveness of the DA at various levels of diagnostic accuracy of event prediction and to different patient subgroups.

Results:
HTM plus the DA extendedly dominates HTM alone, and it has a deterministic incremental cost-effectiveness ratio compared with usual care of €27,712 (currency conversion rate in purchasing power parity at the time of study: €1=US $1.29; further conversions are not applicable in cost-effectiveness terms) per quality-adjusted life year. The model showed robustness in the sensitivity and scenario analyses. HTM plus the DA had a 96.0% probability of being cost-effective at the appropriate €80,000 per quality-adjusted life year threshold. An optimal point for the threshold value for the alarm of the DA in terms of its cost-effectiveness was estimated. New York Heart Association class IV patients were the subgroup with the worst cost-effectiveness results versus usual care, while HTM plus the DA was found to be the most cost-effective for patients aged <65 years and for patients in New York Heart Association class I.

Conclusions:
Although the increased costs of adopting HTM plus the DA in the management of heart failure may seemingly be an additional strain on scarce health care resources, the results of this study demonstrate that, by increasing patient life expectancy by 1.28 years and reducing their hospitalization rate by 23% when compared with usual care, the use of this technology may be seen as an investment, as HTM plus the DA in its current form extendedly dominates HTM alone and is cost-effective compared with usual care at normally accepted thresholds in the Netherlands.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere31302
Number of pages21
JournalJMIR Cardio
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©Fernando Albuquerque de Almeida, Isaac Corro Ramos, Maiwenn Al, Maureen Rutten-van Mölken.

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