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Title: Prenatal Remote Monitoring of Women With Gestational Hypertensive Diseases: Cost Analysis
Authors: Claessens, Jade
Heyrman, Yenthel
STORMS, Valerie 
GYSELAERS, Wilfried 
THIJS, Inge 
VONCK, Sharona 
SMEETS, Christophe 
VANDIJCK, Dominique 
Issue Date: 2018
Abstract: Background: Remote monitoring in obstetrics is relatively new; some studies have shown its effectiveness for both mother and child. However, few studies have evaluated the economic impact compared to conventional care, and no cost analysis of a remote monitoring prenatal follow-up program for women diagnosed with gestational hypertensive diseases (GHD) has been published. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the costs of remote monitoring versus conventional care relative to reported benefits. Methods: Patient data from the Pregnancy Remote Monitoring (PREMOM) study were used. Health care costs were calculated from patient-specific hospital bills of Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg (Genk, Belgium) in 2015. Cost comparison was made from three perspectives: the Belgian national health care system (HCS), the National Institution for Insurance of Disease and Disability (RIZIV), and costs for individual patients. The calculations were made for four major domains: prenatal follow-up, prenatal admission to the hospital, maternal and neonatal care at and after delivery, and total amount of costs. A simulation exercise was made in which it was calculated how much could be demanded of RIZIV for funding the remote monitoring service. Results: A total of 140 pregnancies were included, of which 43 received remote monitoring (30.7%) and 97 received conventional care (69.2%). From the three perspectives, there were no differences in costs for prenatal follow-up. Compared to conventional care, remote monitoring patients had 34.51% less HCS and 41.72% less RIZIV costs for laboratory test results (HCS: mean (sic)0.00 [SD (sic)55.34] vs mean (sic)38.28 [SD (sic)44.08], P<.001; RIZIV: mean (sic)21.09 [SD (sic)27.94] vs mean (sic)36.19 [SD (sic)41.36], P<.001) and a reduction of 47.16% in HCS and 48.19% in RIZIV costs for neonatal care (HCS: mean (sic)989.66 [SD (sic)3020.22] vs mean (sic)1872.92 [SD (sic)5058.31], P<.001; RIZIV: mean (sic)872.97 [SD (sic)2761.64] vs mean (sic)1684.86 [SD (sic)4702.20], P<.001). HCS costs for medication were 1.92% lower in remote monitoring than conventional care (mean (sic)209.22 [SD (sic)213.32] vs mean (sic)231.32 [SD 67.09], P=.02), but were 0.69% higher for RIZIV (mean (sic)122.60 [SD (sic)92.02] vs mean (sic)121.78 [SD (sic)20.77], P<.001). Overall HCS costs for remote monitoring were mean (sic)4233.31 (SD (sic)3463.31) per person and mean (sic)4973.69 (SD (sic)5219.00) per person for conventional care (P=.82), a reduction of (sic)740.38 (14.89%) per person, with savings mainly for RIZIV of (sic)848.97 per person (23.18%; mean (sic)2797.42 [SD (sic)2905.18] vs mean (sic)3646.39 [SD (sic)4878.47], P=.19). When an additional fee of (sic)525.07 per month per pregnant woman for funding remote monitoring costs is demanded, remote monitoring is acceptable in their costs for HCS, RIZIV, and individual patients. Conclusions: In the current organization of Belgian health care, a remote monitoring prenatal follow-up of women with GHD is cost saving for the global health care system, mainly via savings for the insurance institution RIZIV.
Notes: Lanssens, D (reprint author), Hasselt Univ, Fac Med & Life Sci, Mobile Hlth Unit, Martelarenlaan 42, B-3500 Hasselt, Belgium,
Keywords: remote monitoring; gestational hypertensive diseases; reimbursement; cost-effectiveness
Document URI:
ISSN: 1438-8871
DOI: 10.2196/jmir.9552
ISI #: 000428246900002
Rights: ©Dorien Lanssens, Thijs Vandenberk, Christophe JP Smeets, Hélène De Cannière, Sharona Vonck, Jade Claessens, Yenthel Heyrman, Dominique Vandijck, Valerie Storms, Inge M Thijs, Lars Grieten, Wilfried Gyselaers. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (, 26.03.2018. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validations: ecoom 2019
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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