The Des Moines Register reports about the first Iowan to receive a new electronic implant:
Cardiologist Prasad Palakurthy implanted a newly approved device that combines a pacemaker with a monitor to track the problem. It isn’t a treatment for heart failure, but the doctor expects it to help him prevent critical problems.
The device, which sits under the patient’s left collarbone, sends out electrical impulses, then measures how long they take to return. Electricity travels quickly through liquid, so wetter lungs lead to faster responses. When the liquid level rises, the device will beep, notifying the patient to get help before the problem turns critical. Doctors also can check the monitors by phone, using computerized hookups in their patients’ homes.
The device that has been implanted is the InSync Sentry™ ICD with OptiVol™ Fluid Status Monitoring. According to the press release by Medtronic, the device maker:
… OptiVol™ Fluid Status Monitoring, measures changes in intra-thoracic impedance, which is an indication of a patient’s changing fluid volume. Physicians set a threshold for each patient, and when the threshold is crossed, the patient and clinician can be alerted, providing for the possibility of earlier clinical assessment.
A key challenge is that normal fluid levels may vary from patient to patient, and fluid accumulation can be either chronic and slow, or acute and rapid. OptiVol is unique in that it takes measurements over time to develop a trend. By monitoring vital physiologic functions on top of standard clinical practice, OptiVol provides clinicians with an additional source of information and important new insights into patient management.
More at Medtronic, Inc…