The FDA has given approval to a few new features on St. Jude Medical‘s Merlin.net patient care network. The system provides communication between information from implanted devices and caretakers back at the clinic. The new 3.1 version allows physicians to set triggers for devices to receive notification if abnormal readings are detected.
The latest version of Merlin.net PCN adds new options to its DirectAlerts® Notification feature, which can be used to alert a physician – including an on-call physician outside normal business hours – to changes in the device or the patient’s disease state. The DirectAlerts Notification feature allows the physician to monitor patients for changes in certain diagnostic criteria between scheduled follow-ups, which would trigger the device to automatically store the data, send it to Merlin.net PCN and notify the physician that the data is available to review. The range of possible triggers now includes episodes of atrial fibrillation (AF), a serious condition characterized by rapid, ineffective contractions of the upper chambers of the heart that, if unmanaged, can increase the risk of stroke.
The DirectCall® Message feature provides pre-recorded messages that clinics can program to call patients to remind them of an up-coming scheduled follow-up transmissions, notify them if they have missed a scheduled follow-up transmission, inform them that their remote transmission has been received and all looks normal, or ask them to call the clinic to discuss the results of the follow-up. Reducing the need for clinic staff to make and receive routine calls can help free up staff time while supporting increased patient compliance with their follow-up schedule. The new version of the patient care network also provides a Spanish language option so that clinics can serve a wider population of patients.
The Merlin.net PCN has enhanced unique online scheduling tools. The scheduling tools now offer both a smart calendar feature, which allows clinics to create schedules that automatically adjust for clinic holidays, and a manual scheduling function that is fully customizable for greater flexibility.
Press release: St. Jude Medical Announces FDA Approval of New Features in Remote Patient Care for Implantable Cardiac Devices
Product page: Merlin.net™ Patient Care Network
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