Sustainability of cardiology services: economic evaluation and communication in remote monitoring of people with pacemakers

Project facts

Project promoter:
Carlos III University of Madrid
Project Number:
Target groups
Researchers or scientists
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 98,751
The project is carried out in:


Cardiovascular diseases are a major cause of global morbidity and mortality, being responsible for about 30% of overall mortality. Cardiology consultations are overloaded due to an exponential increase in the number of implanted cardiac devices. The partnership will analyze the new communication systems and remote monitoring of people with pacemaker implantation in relation to the sustainability of cardiology services in our current society. The project will also analyse their effectiveness and costs. This partnership will achieve further research collaboration beyond the current project. The results will enable a better understanding on how these new health communication technologies may produce an impact in both society well-being and the sustainability of the healthcare services. The dissemination of the results will benefit to decision makers of Governments and National Health Systems, as well as their users. The donor partner, University of Tromsø/Nordland Hospital, will conduct the field study and clinical trial. This partner has a long experience in projects on patients with pacemakers.

Summary of project results

The current economic crisis and the sustainability of healthcare services are demanding new ways of providing services. Heart problems are one of the most important chronic diseases in our current society. Therefore, it's important to establish new approaches for treating heart patients in order to improve the sustainability of health care systems. Home-based remote systems can provide an important added value especially in the monitoring of patients with pacemakers (PM). However, studies on cost-effectiveness in the PM remote monitoring are very limited. Most studies have focused on other cardiac devices such as implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD) and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) but not on PM. The project aimed at showing the level of efficiency for both society and for the public health systems of this new technology applied to pacemakers. The workplan of the project included: 1) Identification and design of the tools for collecting data: questionnaire for collecting data from the medical history of patients, assessment tool (caregivers) translated and three questionnaires to collect data on pacemakers users satisfaction. 2) Data collection from August 2014 till November 2015, with 50 patients included in the project. 3) Reporting and dissemination. Three abstracts related to the project were submitted and presented in the Nordic Conference of Implementation of Evidence Based Practice, which was organized by Bergen University College. Three other abstracts were submitted and presented in the Annual Health Technology Assessment international congress (June 2015, Oslo-Norway). Other abstracts and presentations have been submitted and performed at several conferences and congresses, among others, the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society Congress (September 2015, oslo-Norway), and a Summer School was organized at Oslo University, focusing on the advances in public health and Norwegian welfare system. In most cases, the events in which partners presented their work included decision makers, dissemination of knowledge, cooperation and experiences between international experts in Healthcare Technology Assessment, Health Communication and Public Health issues.

Summary of bilateral results

Partners have been very active in presenting the project and results in numerous congresses, conferences, workshops and events, and they have even organized, also within NILS programme bilateral relations scheme, two workshops in Norway and Spain in order to discuss and present results. This activity has contributed to a wide dissemination and higher visibility of the partnership, their research and results. As a result of the project, the Spanish promoter is developing very fruitful cooperation with all partners. Therefore, this positive experience is expected to ensure further collaboration beyond the project. At the moment of the closure of the project funding within the NILS programme, partners were thinking in new partnerships in order to jointly apply to other funding sources.