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Device acts as heart's security system

COLUMBUS, Ohio Heart failure patients at the Ohio State University Heart Center may be seeing less of their doctors. And the doctors couldnt be happier.

A group of patients is testing a first-of-its-kind implantable monitor that transmits critical data from their heart over the telephone, eliminating travel to the doctors office for the same type of monitoring.

Proven successful, the experimental device could herald a major breakthrough for the growing number of people diagnosed with heart failure. Those living with heart failure could enjoy an improved lifestyle with less dependency on frequent doctor visits, and for cardiac researchers it might be the most advanced bellwether device yet for detecting heart problems at their earliest stages.

Within minutes of viewing the transmitted data from any location with computer access, the physician, if needed, can make adjustments to the patients medication or prescribe additional therapy.

Ive been very impressed with the technology, and patients in the study seem to like it as well, said Dr. William Abraham, director of cardiology at the OSU Heart Center and principal investigator of the study at Ohio State.

Instead of seeing a cardiologist about once every two to three weeks for follow-up care, patients with the monitor need an office appointment less than once a month, said Abraham.

But patient convenience is not the biggest benefit the device has to offer. Data from the monitor often can indicate serious cardiac events are on the horizon days before actual physical symptoms occur. As a sentinel device, its proven to be very effective, said Abraham. Its giving us a head start on treating problems that often would not show up until after a visit to the hospital and invasive testing.

The Chronicle Implantable Hemodynamic Monitor is about the size of a folded matchbook and is implanted in the upper chest. A sensor attached to the monitor is threaded through a vein into the heart
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Contact: David Crawford
Crawford.1@osu.edu
614-293-3737
Ohio State University Medical Center
28-Jan-2003


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