Home Management of Warfarin Treatment Through a Real-Time Supervised Telemedicine Solution: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Claus L Brasen, Jonna S Madsen, Tina Parkner, Ivan Brandslund

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BACKGROUND: Many patients are undergoing oral anticoagulation treatment with vitamin K antagonists, which necessitates measuring international normalized ratio (INR) several times each month.

INTRODUCTION: Patients can learn to measure their INR at home and choose their own dose for the next period with potential gains in treatment quality and reduced healthcare expenses. This is, however, connected to the potential problem of losing tight external control of the patient treatment.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed a randomized controlled trial using the telemedicine software CSO/AC together with the INR point-of-care-test CoaguChek XS for 10 months to investigate the use of criteria-driven healthcare interactions. A total of 87 patients were divided into two groups. The patient self-management (PSM) group was surveilled using the criteria INR <1.8, INR >4.5, change in warfarin/week >1.25 mg, missing INR or dosage. The patient self-testing (PST) group was handled as routine care.

RESULTS: A total of 84 patients were followed for 10 months. No differences were seen in average INR or fraction of INR in therapeutic range (2-3) in the two groups or the start compared with the end. The PST group was handled using 4.2 interactions per month whereas the PSM group used 1.1 interactions per month. No adverse effects of PSM were observed.

DISCUSSION: Using criteria-driven interactions enabled a considerable reduction in interactions per month. The two groups were comparable in terms of treatment effect and safety.

CONCLUSIONS: Using criteria to guide PSM interactions maintains good treatment effect while reducing healthcare expenses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Pages (from-to)109-115
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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