Outcomes of Telemedicine Video-Conferencing Clinic Versus In-Person Clinic Follow-Up for Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Recipients

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Abstract

Background:

Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) recipients require close follow-up that can be difficult for patients who have to travel long distances for clinic follow-up. We aimed to compare clinical outcomes between ICD patients followed-up in a telemedicine video-conferencing clinic (TMVC) and a conventional in-person clinic (CIC). We hypothesized that outcomes of patients followed in the TMVC are noninferior to the CIC.

Methods and Results:

This retrospective study compares time to first appropriate ICD therapy, time to first inappropriate ICD therapy, time to first shock, and overall survival in patients followed in TMVC compared with CIC between 2001 and 2016. Two hundred and eighty-seven patients were followed in the TMVC group and 236 patients in the CIC. The average age of the TMVC and CIC groups was 64.13±9.38 and 65.23±8.57 years, respectively (P=0.164). There was no difference in the modified Seattle heart failure model score between the 2 groups (−0.12±1.0 versus −0.21±0.99; P=0.287). The Charlson comorbidity index score was higher in the CIC group compared with the TMVC group (7.0 versus 6.0; P=0.01). Mean duration of follow-up was 4.8 years. Adjusted and unadjusted tests of noninferiority found TMVC was not inferior to in-person follow-up for the prespecified outcomes.

Conclusions:

Video-conferencing ICD follow-up for patients in areas where electrophysiology subspecialty care is not available leads to outcomes that are noninferior to CIC follow-up.

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