CANBERRA, Australia – Home monitoring of chronic diseases could save Australia’s healthcare system up to $3 billion a year, a study has found. “In addition to a 24% savings of Medical Benefits Scheme expenditure over one year, the trial also showed a substantial 36% decrease in hospital admission and, most importantly, a 42% reduction in length of stay if admitted to hospital during the 12-month trial,” said Dr. Rajiv Jayasena, a lead researcher with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, in a statement. “This is a huge saving when you consider the cost of a hospital bed per day is estimated to be about $2,051 in Australia.” The study included a mixed group of 287 patients with chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes or chronic lung disease. They were provided with a device that included participant/clinician video conferencing capabilities, messaging features and the delivery of clinical and study-specific questionnaires, as well as a vital signs device to monitor their ECG, heart rate, spirometry, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, body weight and body temperature. Participants reported improvements in anxiety, depression and quality of life, with many finding that home monitoring gave them a better understanding of their chronic conditions.
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