Top Things to Know: An Overview of Telehealth in the Management of CVD

Published: November 14, 2022

  1. The purpose of this scientific statement is to highlight the impact of telehealth in cardiac, cerebrovascular, and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) disease management, review implementation strategies and obstacles to telehealth adoption, and discuss opportunities for future research.
  2. Telehealth has experienced tremendous growth over the past several years. The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic demonstrated the importance of telehealth as a substitute for in-person patient visits, as face-to-face contact was limited to reduce the spread of the virus.
  3. Up to 30% of all US ambulatory health care visits were conducted via telehealth early in the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), with some centers delivering greater than 90%, especially in behavioral health.
  4. Telehealth is broad and diverse, however as it expands, there is a need for standardized methods to assess the quality of the care provided. Quality metrics may include patient reported outcomes, compliance with device usage, and the tracking of outcomes related to false-positive rates.
  5. Even though telehealth seems to provide more access, there are obstacles to consider. Individuals with lower socioeconomic status, health literacy issues, or who have cultural and linguistic barriers may be unable to harness digital platforms’ full capabilities particularly when it comes to digital health technologies, consumer wearables, and other devices that require patients to purchase, subscribe, or pay for monitoring.
  6. “Telestroke,” the application of telehealth for acute stroke and stroke rehabilitation/recovery, is a crucial component of stroke systems of care, including the designation of different levels of hospital stroke readiness.
  7. Implementation of telehealth has the potential to decrease health care costs while simultaneously improving access and quality of care to patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD); yet clinicians’ acceptance and uptake of telehealth varies.
  8. CVD affect a significant proportion of the population and disproportionately impacts patients in rural and underrepresented communities. Advances in technology have enabled the growth of telehealth strategies to improve patient care and medical resource accessibility.
  9. This statement considers definitions pertinent to telehealth discussions, summarizes the impact of telehealth utilization on cardiovascular and peripheral vascular disease care, and identifies obstacles for the adoption of telehealth that need to be addressed to improve health care accessibility and equity.
  10. Telehealth collapses the barriers of time and distance, making it ideal for providing care that is both patient-centered and of high value as defined by efficient resource utilization to provide optimal outcomes.


Takahashi EA, Schwamm LH, Adeoye OM, Alabi O, Jahangir E, Misra S, Still CH; on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention; Council on Hypertension; Council on the Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease; and Stroke Council. An overview of telehealth in the management of cardiovascular disease: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association [published online ahead of print November 14, 2022]. Circulation. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000001107