The Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, recently announced the top 10 medical innovations for 2021. Among them is the possibility of transmitting data from a pacemaker to the patient's smartphone.
Implantable Medical Devices (DMI), such as pacemakers and defibrillators, provide electrical impulses to the chambers of the heart muscle to contract and pump blood to the body. They are used to prevent or correct arrhythmias - uneven, very slow, or very fast heartbeats. Remote monitoring of these devices is an essential part of care.
Traditionally, the remote monitoring of this device occurs through a console next to the bed that transmits data from the pacemaker or defibrillator to the doctor. Although millions of patients have pacemakers and defibrillators, many lack basic knowledge of the device or how it works, and adherence to remote monitoring is not ideal.
Convenient and accurate, this newest advancement in medical cardiac technology increases the connection between the patient and the treatment. While millions of people rely on surgically implanted devices like a pacemaker to keep them alive, clinical monitoring is critical, and so far, it has only been one-sided.
A Bluetooth-enabled pacemaker device used in conjunction with a mobile app allows patients to transmit data remotely using their smartphone or tablet - ignoring any need for additional monitors. Through the app, and for the first time, patients with pacemakers have safe and fast access to data related to the history of transmission success, battery longevity, vital monitoring, and physical activity.
A recent study showed that patients who used the mobile app were more likely to adhere to their scheduled remote monitoring transmissions than patients who used traditional bedside monitors, completing 94.6% of these transmissions successfully. State-of-the-art technology provides easy transmission of information anytime, anywhere, and allows patients to access device data, thereby increasing involvement and interest in heart health.
How does it work?
The BlueSync Field Evaluation takes its name from Medtronic's BlueSync ® technology, which employs low-energy Bluetooth® wireless telemetry to enable patients to use their smart device, be it a smartphone or a tablet, to directly monitor their pacemaker.
Patients do this by taking advantage of an application-based platform, the MyCareLink Heart ™ application, which can transfer data from the pacemaker to patient management networks, such as CareLink ™, without the use of a traditional bedside monitor. End-to-end encryption keeps pacemaker data safe.
BlueSync enabled pacemakers to include the Azure ™ pacemaker and Percepta ™, Serena ™, and Solara ™ quadripolar cardiac resynchronization therapy (TRC-Ps) pacemakers. The data collected by these devices is encrypted and sent to the CareLink network via the MyCareLink Heart mobile app, providing doctors with timely alerts about clinically relevant patient events.
The app also makes selected pacemaker data easily accessible to patients, including transmission history, pacemaker battery information, answers to common questions about living with a pacemaker, and updates on physical activity.