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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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