Wireless in a heartbeat took on a new meaning with the first U.S. implant of the Accent RF pacemaker. Combined with remote sensoring capabilities, the Accent allows doctors to more efficiently monitor patients, while patients enjoy the convenience of care from home.
Thanks to the device made by St. Jude Medical, a patient's clinic can be informed through the home monitoring system. This means patients won't have to visit their doctor's office to have their batteries checked; instead, they will be getting a call from their doctor, who is connected to a central monitoring station.
"Wireless communication is used everywhere today. Now, it can help us provide round-the-clock care for our patients through a secure notification system that can be programmed to meet a patient's specific needs," Dr. Steven Greenberg of St. Francis Hospital of Roslyn, N.Y., who performed the implant in late July, said in a statement.
There are approximately 3 million people worldwide with pacemakers, with more than 600,000 being implanted each year. Cardiac pacemakers are used to treat bradycardia, which is a heart rate that is too slow. Pacemaker devices monitor the heart and provide electrical stimulation when the heart beats too slowly for a patient's specific physiological needs.
"Rather than checking on a device a few times a year, daily alerts allow me to know about important changes in my patient's condition or device functions so I can act more quickly in addressing any issues," Greenburg said.
The wireless automatic alerts notify a physician when a rapid atrial rate, atrial tachycardia or atrial fibrillation exceeds the programmed value of the pacemaker or occurs over an extended period of time. The devices can be programmed to notify a patient of such episodes, as well as device and lead-related issues, through a two-tone audible alert.
"It helps me rest easier knowing that if there are any sudden changes in my condition the wireless monitor on my night table will let me and my doctor know," said Carol Kasyjanski, the first person to receive the Accent RF pacemaker. "I am considering bringing it with me on my next vacation."