Telemedicine and remote monitoring represent more than the communication of health data via a 'remote connection'. Modern systems can be stand-alone and can be equipped with the ability to acquire and summarize data in order to inform the patient, carer or health care giver. The information can be held locally or be shared with a health care centre. Contemporary telemedicine and telemonitoring solutions have shifted their focus, trying to work on a system which is ubiquitous, efficient and sustainable. Along with devices that collect and elaborate data, a new generation of plug and play sensors has also come to life, which with standardization can lower management costs and make introduction into practice more feasible. Multiple trials (TIM-HF, TEN-HMS and BEAT.HF) have reported varying outcomes, depending on the monitoring system and the background health care process. A special mention is necessary for home tele-rehabilitation programmes for patients with heart failure. Despite the progress obstacles remain, including adequate training, data ownership and handling and applicability to larger populations. This article will review contemporary advances in this area.