Aachen: Europe’s largest telemedicine study shows: digitally networked healthcare works, is effective and helps

Digital solutions help to achieve a statistically significant improvement in the quality of medical processes and outcomes. The study* on the TELnet@NRW innovation fund project, which has now been published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, proves the benefits of cross-sector telemedicine-supported intensive medical and infectious disease care. With more than 150,000 patients included, this is the largest telemedicine study in Europe.

Stockfoto Adobe Stock
© Adobe Stock

“This is a milestone on our way to digitally networked healthcare,” says TELnet@NRW consortium leader Prof. Gernot Marx, MD, Director of the Department of Surgical Intensive Care Medicine and Intermediate Care at RWTH Aachen University Hospital. “Teleconsultations improve the quality of treatment very significantly. In this way, the highest medical expertise can be made available quickly and easily throughout the country.” Prof. Marx advocates the immediate transfer of teleconsultation to standard care, citing the scientific evidence. Last but not least, the pandemic has shown that there are alternatives to presence medicine that function perfectly from a technical point of view. Working remotely and from home has proven effective in many settings in recent months – why not in medicine, too? In times of scarce personnel resources, expertise and support for the intensive care physician on site can be called up quickly at any time via teleconsultations. Decisions can be made without loss of time, especially in critical cases.

TELnet@NRW was able to significantly and clinically highly relevant improve the quality of treatment

Telemedicine enables direct interaction around the clock over long distances between intensive care physicians or infectious disease experts and medical teams caring for patients in hospitals or doctors’ offices without direct access to these experts. Teleconsultations between experts increase the quality of treatment and thus create added value for patients. As the study once again demonstrates: TELnet@NRW was able to significantly and clinically highly relevant improve the quality of treatment. In the inpatient area, for example, telemedical support increased the chance of guideline-compliant treatment of bloodstream infections with Staphylococcus Aureus by a factor of 4.0. The treatment of life-threatening clinical pictures such as severe sepsis and septic shock was also positively influenced. Here, the chance of a guideline-compliant therapy could be increased by a factor of 6.8. In the outpatient setting, telemedicine intervention was very effective in reducing incorrect antibiotic administration for common uncomplicated acute upper respiratory infections. respiratory tract infections very effectively. A 34.3% increase in the chance of guideline-appropriate treatment was achieved. For asymptomatic bacteriuria, the chance of guideline-appropriate treatment was also increased by a factor of 9.3. With regard to secondary outcomes, the proportion of patients with acute respiratory failure treated in a lung-protective manner was significantly increased. Adherence to international guideline recommendations, such as the sepsis bundles of the Surviving Sepsis Campaign, was also significantly increased. A non-significant reduction in sepsis mortality from 28.8 percent to 23.8 percent was observed.

Aktuelle Meldungen zur Digitalen Medizin in NRW finden Sie auch unter unserem Leuchtturm Digitale.Medizin.NRW.

In unserer Rubrik finden Sie unter anderem das Projekt Telemedizin@NRW, welches ebenfalls von der Klinik für Operative Intensivmedizin und Intermediate Care der Uniklinik RWTH Aachen koordiniert wird. Sowie weitere Projekte aus dem Themenfeld wie Optimal@NRW, SmartHospital.NRW und viele weitere spannende Projekte.

Call for prompt adoption into standard care

TELnet@NRW has created an extensive cross-sector telemedicine network that is highly accepted by users – patients and physicians alike – and functions flawlessly from a technical standpoint. “It is suitable as a blueprint,” says consortium leader Prof. Marx. Given the clear benefits, teleconsults must now become part of standard care. “The digital upheaval in care must happen now. Telemedicine works!”

Weitere Informationen