Medtronic‘s internet-based monitoring service that looks at the data stored in implanted cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) has now been launched in Europe.
The Medtronic CareLink Network is an Internet-based monitoring service which connects such patients and their physicians for “virtual check-ups.” Patients simply hold a small antenna over their device, and information on how their heart and ICD are working, which is comparable to the information provided during an in-clinic follow-up visit, is downloaded into the Medtronic CareLink Monitor. This information is then sent through a telephone line directly to a new data centre in Europe. Clinicians can access their patients’ data by logging onto a secure physician Web site, and may make adjustments to the patient’s medication or prescribe additional therapy without needing to see the patient in person.
Until now, people living with an ICD faced two to four scheduled visits to their clinic each year for a device check-up, with potentially unscheduled visits as needed for more critical situations. Now, the small and easily portable Medtronic CareLink Monitor allows patients to stay connected to their clinicians from their home, from work or while traveling, potentially meaning fewer clinic visits.
“The launch of CareLink is a major milestone in the management of heart conditions, and represents an important advance in the ongoing care of patients with implantable devices,” said Dr. John Morgan, professor of cardiology, Southampton University, Southampton, UK. “Patients living with ICDs have reported that frequent clinician visits have a negative impact on their ability to hold down a job, go on holiday, and even spend time with their family. The facilitation of a remote service will free up vital time to improve the patient’s quality of life, and provide more choice and flexibility for patients. It will also offer the peace of mind that comes from knowing that expert care is only a phone call away.”
The Medtronic CareLink Network is also of benefit to physicians. By enabling routine device follow-ups remotely, doctors can quickly and thoroughly review the status of a patient’s heart condition, and schedule follow-up appointments only when necessary. This creates vital extra time to counsel patients with more critical conditions, ensuring medical efficiency and better overall patient management. The Medtronic CareLink Network may also provide reduced emergency department and unscheduled clinic visits. Further, the Medtronic CareLink Network is the first and only system to allow remote monitoring and alerting of fluid buildup in the thoracic cavity, via the proprietary Medtronic OptiVol® Fluid Status Monitoring feature available on select ICDs, potentially preventing heart failure hospitalizations.
Press release: New Patient Monitoring System Allows Routine Checkups of Deadly Heart Conditions Using the Internet …
Flashbacks: InSync Sentry: defibrillator and CHF monitor ; Medtronic Concerto™/Virtuoso™ Debut; Medtronic CareLink® Programmer – Model 2090; Guardian® REAL-Time System Launched.