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Print 25 comment(s) - last by HVAC.. on Aug 12 at 1:19 PM

Pacemaker communicates wirelessly with monitoring service

For people with potentially fatal heart conditions, a pacemaker and their physician are the only things that stand between them and certain death. The problem for some is that even with a pacemaker their conditions are so severe that they can still have problems leading a normal life.

A woman in New York has become the first person in the world to receive a pacemaker that can communicate wirelessly with a remote monitoring service that her physician can access. The pacemaker connects with the server once per day and will alert the patient and the doctor if there is an issue that could compromise the patient's health.

Carol Kasyjanski has had a serious heart condition for over 20 years and she says that the new device has given her more confidence because only immediate help could save her life if the pacemaker stops working.

The woman had problems with her pacemaker years ago that routine tests could not find because it only surfaced when she passed out. She said, "Years ago the problem was with my lead, it was nicked, and until I collapsed no one knew what the problem was, no tests would show what the problem was until I passed out."

With the wireless pacemaker contacting the server at least once per day, problems like this are much easier to find and treat before they can become life threatening.

Dr. Steven Greenberg from St. Francis' Arrhythmia and Pacemaker Center said, "If there is anything abnormal, and we have a very intricate system set up, it will literally call the physician responsible at two in the morning if need be."

Using the wireless pacemaker allows about 90% of the routine work during an office visit to be completed before the patient arrives, allowing the doctor more time to focus on the patient rather than ordering and getting tests done.

Pacemaker technology has come a long way in the last few years; in 2006 a pacemaker was developed that needed no battery to operate.



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RE: No mention..
By MDE on 8/10/2009 11:43:52 AM , Rating: 3
I think the main point is that she doesn't have to be opened up surgically or have wires hanging out of her body to read data from the pacemaker.


RE: No mention..
By FITCamaro on 8/10/2009 11:51:28 AM , Rating: 5
Oh cmon. If you have the wires, every time they hook them up you can be like "We can rebuild him.....we have the technology...."

How cool would that be? :)


RE: No mention..
By Flail on 8/10/2009 3:15:27 PM , Rating: 5
except it would cost six million dollars.


RE: No mention..
By Omega215D on 8/10/2009 3:46:27 PM , Rating: 5
Those are 1970's dollars, you have to account for inflation...


RE: No mention..
By HVAC on 8/12/2009 11:46:00 AM , Rating: 2
No, no, no. It is still 6 million dollars. The 70s money was invested in real estate in Detroit, production was outsourced to China, and support is via call centers in India, so ....


RE: No mention..
By sigmatau on 8/10/2009 12:00:38 PM , Rating: 2
You don't have to be opened up for your pacemaker to be read. A device placed on the chest does that for millions of patients today. Some patients that live in rural areas can hook themselves up, connect it to a phone and have a remote diagnostic done. The only time you are opened up is every 10 years or so to replace the battery.

The only benefit from this that I can see is possible more readings and even real time reports/alerts. Now that is actually a huge benefit as this could keep an eye on you better than any over worked nurse.


RE: No mention..
By MrBlastman on 8/10/2009 12:05:34 PM , Rating: 1
It is certainly better than having to wear a holter monitor periodically for 24-hours and then go back in to have it analyzed.

Nifty technology. I wonder how much extra power consumption is involved with the additional technology. Is her pacemaker "human-powered?"


"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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