Safety and Feasibility of Tele-Cardiac Rehabilitation Using Remote Biological Signal Monitoring System: A Pilot Study

Miho Nishitani-Yokoyama, Kazunori Shimada, Kei Fujiwara, Abidan Abulimiti, Hiroki Kasuya, Mitsuhiro Kunimoto, Yurina Yamaguchi, Minoru Tabata, Masakazu Saitoh, Tetsuya Takahashi, Hiroyuki Daida, Shuko Nojiri, Tohru Minamino


Background: Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is categorized as a class I recommendation in the guidelines for the management of patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, the penetration rate of outpatient CR is low in Japan. We designed a pilot study to evaluate the safety and feasibility of tele-CR using a remote biological signal monitoring system.

Methods: A total of nine patients (median aged 70.0 (66.0 - 76.0) years (male = 6) with CVD who participated in phase II CR for 1 month under the exercise prescription using the cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) were analyzed. They participated in the tele-CR program with a remote biological signal monitoring system (Nipro HeartLineTM, Osaka, Japan, and Duranta, Miyagi, Japan) in the CR room and were instructed by the CR staff from a separate room in the hospital. We evaluated the occurrence and degree of remote biological signal monitoring defects as safety evaluation items, i.e., whether the patients could set the remote biological signal monitoring equipment, as a feasibility evaluation item during a 3-month period. We also performed CPET at the baseline and follow-up. Following the 3-month tele-CR program, a total of 122 remote CR programs were performed using the remote biological signal monitoring system.

Results: No patient experienced a lack of remote biological signal monitoring during exercise therapy. Significant improvement was noted in the exercise capacity, as assessed using the cardiopulmonary test (from 19.5 (16.7 - 20.2) mL/kg/min to 21.1 (17.3 - 22.8) mL/kg/min, P = 0.01, age ratio from 86% (75-96%) to 99% (78-104%), P = 0.01). One patient required support using the remote biological signal monitoring system, including information technology literacy.

Conclusions: This study suggests the safety and feasibility of tele-CR using the remote biological signal monitoring system. However, further investigations are required to explore the suitability, effects, and cost-effectiveness of tele-CR as an alternative to center-based CR in the future.

Cardiol Res. 2023;14(4):261-267


Tele-cardiac rehabilitation; Remote biological signal monitoring system; Exercise capacity; Industry-academia collaboration

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Cardiology Research, bimonthly, ISSN 1923-2829 (print), 1923-2837 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
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