Medtronic has announced the commercial availability of the new Reveal® XT subcutaneous cardiac monitor in the United States. Designed to hep diagnose heart arrhythmias, the device communicates wirelessly with a pager-like unit worn by the patient, which then routs the data to the physician’s computer. For more information about the device, see our flashbacks below.
Physicians may choose the Reveal XT insertable cardiac monitor for their patients with suspected arrhythmias, and in difficult-to-diagnose patients for whom long-term cardiac rhythm trending data may aid in a more informed diagnosis. The Reveal XT device is also an option for physicians seeking to detect the presence of atrial arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms in the upper chambers), including asymptomatic episodes, or to monitor the amount of time a patient is in atrial fibrillation (AF) to assess whether medical treatment is necessary or should be adjusted.
Placed just under the skin of the chest area in a short outpatient procedure, the Reveal XT and DX devices capture an electrocardiogram (ECG) during the actual episode; to store an ECG, a patient places a hand-held, pager-sized assistant over the device, and presses a button. Later, a physician analyzes the stored information, transmitted via the Medtronic CareLink Network or during an in-office patient visit, and determines whether the episode was caused by an abnormal heart rhythm. Reveal device data has been accessible via the Medtronic CareLink Network since fall 2008, which allows patients to stay connected to their healthcare provider from home and offers physicians access to diagnostic data remotely, which may help them make timely, informed decisions.