Pre-hospital electrocardiogram triage with telemedicine near halves time to treatment in STEMI: A meta-analysis and meta-regression analysis of non-randomized studies

Published:January 08, 2017DOI:


      • Pre-hospital triage with telemedicine is associated with a near halved time to treatment in AMI.
      • The benefit is larger in populations with larger delays to treatment.



      A shorter time to treatment has been shown to be associated with lower mortality rates in acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Several strategies have been adopted with the aim to reduce any delay in diagnosis of AMI: pre-hospital triage with telemedicine is one of such strategies.
      We therefore aimed to measure the real effect of pre-hospital triage with telemedicine in case of AMI in a meta-analysis study.


      We performed a meta-analysis of non-randomized studies with the aim to quantify the exact reduction of time to treatment achieved by pre-hospital triage with telemedicine. Data were pooled and compared by relative time reduction and 95% C.I.s. A meta-regression analysis was performed in order to find possible predictors of shorter time to treatment.


      Eleven studies were selected and finally evaluated in the study. The overall relative reduction of time to treatment with pre-hospital triage and telemedicine was −38/−40% (p < 0.001). Absolute time reduction was significantly correlated to time to treatment in the control groups (p < 0.001), while relative time reduction was independent. A non-significant trend toward shorter relative time reductions was observed over years.


      Pre-hospital triage with telemedicine is associated with a near halved time to treatment in AMI. The benefit is larger in terms of absolute time to treatment reduction in populations with larger delays to treatment.


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