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Evidence to Improve Care

Internet-Based Device-Assisted Remote Monitoring of Cardiovascular Implantable Electronic Devices


Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee Recommendation

Based on high-quality evidence that Internet-based device-assisted remote monitoring systems for implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) can safely and effectively be substituted for in-office device clinic follow-up care, the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee recommends that these remote monitoring systems should be increasingly used in patients for whom access to clinic-mediated monitoring presents a problem for geographic or other reasons

Read the full OHTAC Recommendation Report



Cardiovascular implantable electronic devices include pacemakers and cardioverter-defibrillators. These devices are used in patients whose hearts beat too quickly, too slowly or in an irregular pattern. They monitor heart rhythm and use electrical pulses to keep the heart beating properly. Patients with such devices have regular visits to outpatient clinics to ensure their devices are performing correctly. However, this means any irregular heart rhythms may not be discovered until weeks or months after they occur.


Health Quality Ontario Reviews Remote Monitoring Systems for Cardiovascular Implantable Electronic Devices

Remote monitoring systems provide physicians with information from the implantable cardiac devices with little time delay. They may reduce the total follow-up time patients spend in clinics, reduce physician workload, and lower patients’ transportation costs, especially in places without outpatient clinics.


Internet-Based Device-Assisted Remote Monitoring of Cardiovascular Implantable Electronic Devices: An Evidence-Based Analysis (PDF)
January 2012


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This topic is currently under re-review by Health Quality Ontario.



Health Technology Assessment at Health Quality Ontario

As part of our core function to promote health care supported by the best available evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze the evidence for a wide range of health interventions, including diagnostic tests, medical devices, interventional and surgical procedures, health care programs and models of care. These analyses are informed by input from a range of individuals, including patients and clinical experts. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) — a committee of the Health Quality Ontario board of directors — reviews the evidence and makes recommendations about whether health care interventions should be publicly funded or not. Draft recommendations are posted on the Health Quality Ontario website for feedback. Final recommendations are approved by our board of directors and then shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more detailed information, visit our Evidence to Improve Care pages.


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