USC Offers Pacemakers That Can Be Monitored OnlineLOS ANGELES
Physicians at the University of Southern California’s University Hospital are now able to evaluate patients with implantable cardiac devices and pacemakers over the Internet, without requiring them to venture from their homes. USC is the first academic institution in Southern California to use the Medtronic CareLink(R) Network, a service that delivers the first Internet-based remote device check and allows physicians to follow their patients from afar.
The new service is available to people with a Medtronic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), pacemaker or cardiac resynchronization therapy ICD system for heart failure. In the future, patients with other Medtronic implantable devices are expected to use the system.
“The Medtronic CareLink(R) Network enhances our connection with patients and provides them with an unprecedented level of convenience in managing their heart condition,” says Dr. Leslie A. Saxon, director, Electrophysiology Services, USC University Hospital.
The Medtronic CareLink(R) Network is comprised of a patient monitor, a Web site for clinicians, and a Web site for patients and their loved ones. The monitor is a small, easy-to-use device that allows patients to collect information by holding a small computer mouse-like “antenna” over their implanted device. The monitor automatically downloads data about the patient’s heart rhythm and device, and sends it through a standard phone line directly to a secure server. Clinicians then review their patients’ data by logging onto the physician Web site from any Internet-connected computer or laptop and can make immediate decisions about the patients’ care needs.
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