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The value of INnovative ICT guided disease management combined with Telemonitoring in OUtpatient clinics for Chronic Heart failure patients. Design and methodology of the IN TOUCH study: a multicenter randomised trial

Arjen E de Vries1*, Richard M de Jong1, Martje HL van der Wal1, Tiny Jaarsma3, Rene B van Dijk2 and Hans L Hillege1

Author Affiliations

1 Thoraxcenter, Department of Cardiology, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

2 Martini hospital Groningen, Department of Cardiology, Groningen, The Netherlands

3 Linköpings universitet, Department of Social- and Welfare Studies, Norrköping, Sweden

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BMC Health Services Research 2011, 11:167  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-167

Published: 13 July 2011



Although the value of telemonitoring in heart failure patients is increasingly studied, little is known about the value of the separate components of telehealth: ICT guided disease management and telemonitoring. The aim of this study is to investigate the value of telemonitoring added to ICT guided disease management (DM) on the quality and efficiency of care in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) after a hospitalisation.


The study is divided in two arms; a control arm (DM) and an intervention arm (DM+TM) in 10 hospitals in the Netherlands. In total 220 patients will be included after worsening of CHF (DM: N = 90, DM+TM: N = 130). Total follow-up will be 9 months. Data will be collected at inclusion and then after 2 weeks, 4.5 and 9 months. The primary endpoint of this study is a composite score of: 1: death from any cause during the follow-up of the study, 2: first readmission for HF and 3: change in quality of life compared to baseline, assessed by the Minnesota Living with Heart failure Questionnaire. The study has started in December 2009 and results are expected in 2012.


The IN TOUCH study is the first to investigate the effect of telemonitoring on top of ICT guided DM on the quality and efficiency of care in patients with worsening HF and will use a composite score as its primary endpoint.

Trial registration

Netherlands Trial Register (NTR): NTR1898