Hundreds of thousands of pacemakers are implanted every year in the United States, and the majority of them in patients over 65 years of age. Physicians should discuss the importance of remote monitoring with patients, regardless of their age
A new Medtronic plc (NYSE: MDT) study shows a high use of app-based remote cardiac monitoring among older patients. Presented at Heart Rhythm 2017, the Heart Rhythm Society’s 38th Annual Scientific Sessions, the first-of-its-kind study evaluated 15,595 patients across 1,969 clinics with Medtronic pacemakers who were assigned a MyCareLink Smart(TM) app-based remote monitor.
The study found that 88.4 percent of patients of all ages who were prescribed this new technology used their smart devices to successfully activate their MyCareLink Smart mobile app, and 89.7 percent remained “adherent” by transmitting data to the Medtronic CareLink(TM) Network within 12 months, the minimum frequency recommended by the HRS and European Heart Rhythm Association expert consensus.
Age was not a clinically significant factor in activating or adhering the app-based monitoring at 12 months, with 89.4 percent of patients aged 71 and older using the app to transmit data, compared to 86.7 percent of patients 18-50 and 91 percent for those 51-70.
“There is often a misperception that older patients aren’t adapting to newer technologies, but this study shows that is not the case,” Khaldoun Tarakji, M.D., M.P.H., electrophysiologist and director of clinical electrophysiology research at the Cleveland Clinic, who led the study. “Hundreds of thousands of pacemakers are implanted every year in the United States, and the majority of them in patients over 65 years of age. Physicians should discuss the importance of remote monitoring with patients, regardless of their age.” Dr. Tarakji has received compensation from Medtronic as an invited speaker and educator and is a scientific advisory board member.
Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November 2015, the MyCareLink Smart patient monitor is the world’s first app-based remote monitoring system for patients with implantable cardiac devices. With the MyCareLink Smart monitor, patients can use their own smartphone or tablet technology, with cellular or Wi-Fi service, to securely transmit data from their cardiac device to their physicians, who can then interpret the data to make treatment decisions.
By connecting patients and physicians, remote cardiac monitoring provides many clinical and economic benefits. These include faster time to treatment if the physician detects a problem with the pacemaker based on the transmitted data;1 less time spent at a doctor’s office or clinic for regular checks of the pacemaker;2,3 reduced time spent in the hospital if the physician quickly detects and treats a medical problem;1,4 and a potential increase in patient survival rates.4,5,6
“The MyCareLink Smart Monitor was designed to provide seamless compatibility with devices that patients use every day,” said Aisha Barry, vice president and general manager for the Connectivity & Insights business, which is part of the Cardiac and Vascular Group at Medtronic. “We are encouraged this study shows such a high rate of patient use of remote monitoring with our app-based offering, particularly among our older pacemaker patients.”
In collaboration with leading clinicians, researchers and scientists worldwide, Medtronic offers the broadest range of innovative medical technology for the interventional and surgical treatment of cardiovascular disease and cardiac arrhythmias. The company strives to offer products and services of the highest quality that deliver clinical and economic value to healthcare consumers and providers around the world.