New Implant Remotely Monitors Patients

Chest pain and shortness of breath are common symptoms that send tens of thousands of heart failure (HF) patients into U.S. hospitals each month. Cardiologists at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute of Northwestern Memorial Hospital may be able to curb such visits for some of their HF patients as they recently became Chicago's first researchers using a new wireless pressure sensor technology that allows them to track the pulmonary artery pressure of the subjects while these subjects remain at home.

"Some heart failure patients spend a lot of time in and out of the hospital due to chest pain and trouble breathing," says John B. O'Connell, MD, co-director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, director of its Center for Heart Failure and professor of medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. "At any time, such as when the subject is beginning to feel poorly, we immediately get readings of pulmonary pressure”

Further he says: “We are hopeful we can avoid a hospitalization by adjusting the subject's medication based on the pressure recording. As we evaluate the CardioMEMS Wireless Pressure Monitoring System, we see great potential to increase convenience to patients and hospital efficiency by cutting back on frequent trips to the emergency room."

The implanted pressure sensor is about the size of a standard paperclip. It is implanted into the subject's pulmonary artery through a catheter-based procedure from the groin region. The technology that allows for subjects to get readings remotely from home is a proprietary electronic monitoring system that works when they lie on a pillow containing an antenna that interacts with the implanted device to get readings on heart and lung pressures. Northwestern Memorial has implanted three subjects to date and seven more are planned.

MEDICA.de; Source: Northwestern Memorial Hospital