We reviewed the literature on home telecare for elderly patients suffering from chronic diseases. Articles published between 1990 and 2007 were identified via the PubMed database. The literature search yielded 485 papers. After reviewing the title and abstract from each, 54 were selected for closer examination. They were published in 37 different journals. The number of papers increased from one in 1997 to 14 in 2006. The diseases in which home telecare had been used were diabetes (14 studies), heart failure (13 studies), cognitive impairment (dementia and/or Alzheimer's disease, 10 studies), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (5 studies), chronic wounds (4 studies) and mobility disabilities (4 studies). Patients were generally satisfied with home telecare, but they preferred a combination of home telecare with conventional health-care delivery. Health-care professionals were positive about telecare. Users felt that on many occasions telecare led to a reduction in costs due to time savings and avoidance of travelling. Even though there were important benefits from home telecare, there are organizational, ethical, legal, design, usability and other matters that need to be resolved before widespread implementation can occur.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics