Relative risk of home hemodialysis attrition in patients using a telehealth platform.

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION

Home hemodialysis (HHD) facilitates increased treatment frequency, which may improve patient outcomes. However, attrition due to technique failure limits the clinical effectiveness of the modality. Nx2me Connected Health is a telehealth platform that enables ongoing assessment of HHD patients using NxStage equipment, and that may reduce patient burden. We aimed to assess whether use of Nx2me was associated with risk of HHD attrition.

METHODS

We compared risks of all-cause attrition, dialysis cessation (i.e., death or transplant), and technique failure in Nx2me users and matched control patients, using a retrospective cohort study. We also compared the likelihood of HHD training graduation in patients who initiated use of Nx2me during training with the likelihood in matched control patients. Matching factors included date of HHD initiation, NxStage treatment duration at initiation of follow-up, and prescribed treatment frequency. We used stratified Fine-Gray and Cox regression to compare risks, with adjustment for demographic factors and vascular access modality, and stratification by matched cluster.

FINDINGS

We identified 606 Nx2me users; 49.5% initiated use of Nx2me in <3 months after initiation of HHD with NxStage equipment. Adjusted hazard ratios (AHRs) of all-cause attrition, dialysis cessation, and technique failure were 0.80 (95% confidence interval, 0.68-0.95), 1.10 (0.86-1.41), and 0.71 (0.57-0.87), respectively, for Nx2me users vs. matched controls. AHRs were similar in patients who initiated use of Nx2me in <3 months after initiation of HHD. The AHR of HHD training graduation was 1.61 (1.10-2.36) in patients who initiated use of Nx2me within 2 weeks of training initiation vs. matched controls.

DISCUSSION

Use of Nx2me was associated with lower risk of all-cause attrition, lower risk of technique failure, and higher likelihood of HHD training graduation. Further studies are needed to identify the mechanisms by which use of a telehealth platform may improve clinical outcomes and reduce patient burden.

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