Top 10 for 2021: #3 | Smartphone-Connected Pacemaker Devices

Top 10 for 2021: #3 | Smartphone-Connected Pacemaker Devices

Convenient and accurate, this newest advancement in cardiac medical technology increases the connection between patient and treatment. While millions of people rely on surgically implanted devices like pacemakers to keep them alive, clinical monitoring is critical and, until now, has only been one-sided.

A Bluetooth enabled pacemaker device used in conjunction with a mobile app, allows patients to remotely transmit data using their Smartphone or tablet, bypassing any need for additional monitors. Through the app, and for the first time, pacemaker patients have safe, swift access to data related to transmission success, history, battery longevity, vital tracking, and physical activity.

A recent study showed that patients who use the mobile app were more likely to adhere to the remote monitoring scheduled transmissions than patients who use traditional bedside monitors – successfully completing 94.6% of these transmissions. The state-of-the-art technology provides easy transmission of information anytime, anywhere, and enables patients to access their device data – increasing engagement and interest in their heart health.

William Morris, MD:
For number three, Let me introduce Dr. Khaldoun Tarakji. He's a staff electrophysiology with our Heart, Vascular, and Thoracic Institute. Dr. Tarakji, as a seasoned electrophysiologist, you implant thousands of these devices, but why is this dramatically different and novel?

Khaldoun Tarakji, MD:
Yeah, thank you, Will, thanks for having me. First of all, we implant thousands, but in the world, you have millions of patients walking with pacemakers and defibrillators. It's important to know that remote monitoring of these devices is an essential part of the care of these patients. We have plenty of data to show that remote monitoring of these devices leads to better patient outcomes. That's mainly through early detection of arrhythmias, prompt identification of bleed, device malfunction, or battery trouble.

However, despite plenty of evidence for adoption and adherence, the remote monitoring elements are sub-optimal. So traditionally, the remote monitoring happens through a bedside console that lives in the patient's bedroom. You have to be in close proximity to these consoles to transmit data. Now, you're on a Bluetooth-enabled smart device, whether it's your Smartphone or tablet, and it can basically act as that console, as your monitor.

Leveraging an app-based platform that has the ability to communicate with the pacemaker through Bluetooth and then transfer the device data to the patient management networks without the use of any traditional bedside monitor, patients can be anywhere, anytime and transmit these data.

William Morris, MD:
I imagine such a device and capability really brings into sharp focus the importance of being able to upload your data when at home under COVID-19, right? They don't want to necessarily engage with a device clinic, drive into the hospital system, or fight any other barriers to access medical care. Has this technology bored out to actually be a patient satisfier and improve access for these vulnerable patients?

Khaldoun Tarakji, MD:
Yeah. Well, no question about it. First of all, let me be honest with you – when we thought about all the advantages that this new technology would bring to the patient, we never thought about the influence of the pandemic. Just to give you a small example, if you have a patient who gets admitted and they're under isolation, as long as the patient has their Smartphone on them – which most of us are attached to these devices – they can transmit data remotely, without any other human interaction. This comes in extremely handy in today’s environment of preserving PPE whenever possible.

So you're absolutely correct, Will, and we would really be remiss if we didn’t recognize the environment that we're in, with all the emphasis on telemedicine in general. Without this technology, we would be in much more trouble in providing healthcare at patients’ time of need.

William Morris, MD:
Thank you so much, Dr. Tarakji, for nominating this and really advocating for this game-changing technology for both the patients that you serve and the patients across the globe.

Khaldoun Tarakji, MD:
Absolutely. Thank you, Will.
 

Get In Touch With Us