Background: Current expert consensus recommends remote monitoring for cardiac implantable electronic devices, with at least annual in-office follow-up. We studied safety and resource consumption of exclusive remote follow-up (RFU) in pacemaker patients for 2 years. Methods: In Japan, consecutive pacemaker patients committed to remote monitoring were randomized to either RFU or conventional in-office follow-up (conventional follow-up) at twice yearly intervals. RFU patients were only seen if indicated by remote monitoring. All returned to hospital after 2 years. The primary end point was a composite of death, stroke, or cardiovascular events requiring surgery, and the primary hypothesis was noninferiority with 5% margin. Results: Of 1274 randomized patients (50.4% female, age 77±10 years), 558 (RFU) and 550 (Conventional follow-up) patients reached either the primary end point or 24 months follow-up. The primary end point occurred in 10.9% and 11.8%, respectively (P=0.0012 for noninferiority). The median (interquartile range) number of in-office follow-ups was 0.50 (0.50-0.63) in RFU and 2.01 (1.93-2.05) in conventional follow-up per patient-year (P<0.001). Insurance claims for follow-ups and directly related diagnostic procedures were 18 800 Yen (16 500-20 700 Yen) in RFU and 21 400 Yen (16 700-25 900 Yen) in conventional follow-up (P<0.001). Only 1.4% of remote follow-ups triggered an unscheduled in-office follow-up, and only 1.5% of scheduled in-office follow-ups were considered actionable. Conclusions: Replacing periodic in-office follow-ups with remote follow-ups for 2 years in pacemaker patients committed to remote monitoring does not increase the occurrence of major cardiovascular events and reduces resource consumption. Registration: URL: https://clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT01523704.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)