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Device acts as heart's security system

s right ventricle, where it measures heart rate, heart temperature and blood pressure inside the heart.

Patients pass a magnetic wand over their chest to send a signal to the device to transmit data to a doctor via a telephone hookup. Some pacemakers use the same type of technology to relay data, but the information is limited mostly to the condition of the pacemaker and its battery.

One patient in the Ohio State study lives about one and one-half hours away from Columbus. She is doing extraordinarily well with the device and has a renewed quality of life due to our ability to use the transmitted data to fine tune her heart function, said Abraham. Before the woman received the implant she required continuous oxygen therapy and a wheelchair for mobility. Today she doesnt need either. With access to data from the implanted monitor around the clock, 365 days a year, we can be way out ahead of any serious heart problems that might develop, Abraham said. If we do see something in the data that we cant correct with an adjustment in medication or other adjunct therapy, we can ask the patient to come in for further testing.

Abraham also said the device helps patients avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency department. People living with heart failure are conditioned to think heart problem whenever they feel ill, he said. A quick look at the data transmitted from the monitor often is all that is needed to rule out a serious problem in the heart and save the patient some anguish and perhaps an unnecessary trip to the hospital.

The device, made by Medtronic, has not been approved for general use. However, data accumulated by researchers at Ohio State and other test sites could lead to Food and Drug Administration approval of the device in the next two to three years. At least 50 people are being enrolled in the Ohio State arm of the study.

Almost 5 million Americans suffer from heart failure, and it is the most common cause of hospitalization
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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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