Table 1—

Costs for tele-assistance (TA) activation and healthcare service (HCS) costs

Cost per unitFactor to multiplyAll patientsCOPD patients
\#8364;TA \#8364;Control \#8364;TA \#8364;Control \#8364;
Telemedicine costs
 Call centre costs#20Number of calls per patient716±5040821±5370
 Pulsed saturimetric device127 per patient1 for patient12701270
 Trend pulsed saturimetric device+187 per patient1 for patient (when requested)18701870
 TA costs with pulsed saturimetric device
 TA costs with trend pulsed saturimetric device
HCS costs
 Hospitalisations in RW4000 for admissionNumber4610±56006588±76695754±64158727±9221
 ER admissions62Number38±8457±8739±6380±105
 Hospitalisation in ICU§According to DRGNumber3998±151147509±229063842±1508215365±31897
 Outpatient visit32Number4±12104±396±1498±41
 Urgent GP visit30Number20±4148±8023±5172±110
 Antibiotics use (12 days)55Number86±109203±184108±129273±196
 Steroids use (14 days)6Number3±716±185±924±21
 Home nurse visits20Number148±328178±367108±28282±253
Private costs
 Transportation0.23 per kmDistance km0.8±327±251.2±3.221±7
Total HCS costs8907±1758014728±286949886±1753424743±39484
  • COPD: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; RW: respiratory ward; ER: emergency room; ICU: intensive care unit; GP: general practitioner; DRG: diagnosis-related group. #: fixed costs included equipment purchase and installation, and installation of telecommunication lines; variable costs included monthly line charges, maintenance costs, nurse and pulmonologist second opinion on duty calls. : costs on hire. +: costs calculated dividing the total costs of the devices by the number of patients enrolled in 3 yrs; details of costs are described previously 25. §: 14 in TA group and 16 in control group.