Forget The Stethoscope, The Internet Can Monitor Your Heart

Compiled By Traci Purdum Heart patients will benefit from a new device that enables physicians to monitor their conditions via the Internet. Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc. announced the first use of its new Medtronic.com Patient Management System, which is designed to combine the best in medical and informational technology to capture critical physiologic information from a heart-failure patient's implanted medical device. The system employs the Medtronic Chronicle device that will continuously sense and collect unique and valuable information such as intracardiac pressures, heart rate, and physical activity from a proprietary sensor placed directly in the heart's chamber. The patient periodically downloads this information to a home-based device that transmits this critical physiologic data to the Medtronic Patient Management Network. Physicians can access the network via a Web site at any time and review screens that present summary information from the latest download, trend information, and detailed records from specified times or problem episodes. The Chronicle Patient Management System is currently undergoing trials in the United States and Europe, and is not yet approved for commercial sale. The first proprietary home systems have been deployed in Oklahoma City; Birmingham; and Lexington, Ky.

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