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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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Minor correction
By Alexvrb on 8/10/2009 6:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
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 and/or nurse practitioner to see more patients in the same amount of time, rather than actually spending the time saved with the patient.

There I fixed that for you.

RE: Minor correction
By Boze on 8/10/2009 11:39:12 PM , Rating: 2
With the shortage of physicians overall in this nation, and especially the precipitous shortage of primary care physicians, you should be very thankful of that.

And if Obama's ambitious health care plan goes into place and 46 million more Americans get health insurance, its going to overwhelm what few primary care physicians are still in practice around the country.

If you think a 1 to 2 hour wait in the waiting room and then a 15 to 60 minute wait in the examination room are bad, wait until another 46 million Americans need to go to the doctor. You can tack on at least another hour to those times.

So in theory, you should be thanking anyone, anywhere, who can develop anything that allows a doctor to see and treat more patients.

RE: Minor correction
By MrPoletski on 8/11/2009 6:30:18 AM , Rating: 2
So you spend an hour extra sitting in your chair reading magazines instead of an extra hour extra trying to get the insurance company to pay up and filling out endless forms and stuff.

I think the funniest thing in the whole debate was recently some right wing editorial tried to make out that under the British health system, Stephen Hawking would have been deemed unproductive to society and layed to waste instead of given treatment for his motor neurone disease.

The ignorance is astounding!

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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