Imperial College London researchers have developed an implantable cardiac monitor that supposedly can detect changes in cardiac contractility, hence can function as a continuous (and also wireless) heart failure monitor.
From the press release:
The sensor is constructed from silicon and vibrates at a rate which varies according to the pressure inside the heart. Once at home, patients would wear a reader, a miniature device that detects these vibrations through radio pulses, and translates them into precise measurements.
Patients would be able view their own readings at home via the reader, while doctors could take measurements by dialling up the reader via a mobile phone or by logging onto a secure internet site. The reader could also be set to automatically send alarms to the doctor if a patient’s heart reading reaches critical levels.
Lead researcher, Professor Christofer Toumazou, from Imperial College London’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering, says:
“The heart pressure sensor could transform the lives of people living with chronic heart problems and has the potential to revolutionise heart monitoring. At the touch of a few buttons a family doctor could dial up their patient’s heart history and plot pressure trends to better manage their condition and prevent the progression of heart failure.”
Sir Magdi Yacoub, Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Imperial College London, has trialled the pressure sensor successfully on animal laboratory models.