Medical Device Innovation: Pacemaker Monitoring through your Smartphone

It’s no secret that we love great science in fact, some might call us science nerds. Even though we use and witness great science every day, it doesn’t prevent us from being blown away by new innovations and the way emerging technology improves lives. The recent announcement that the Heart PatientFDA has approved an app-based remote monitoring system for use by people with implantable pacemakers has us saying “Wow”!

The concept of medical devices that work with personal electronics and apps is a growing trend in health care, and it’s easy to see why. It enables people to take control of their health and most people own some kind of mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet. App-based health monitoring brings those two factors together to help people with a variety of health issues. Monitoring their health is literally at their fingertips thanks to this user-friendly and readily accessible monitoring system.

That’s the idea behind Medtronic’s recently approved MyCareLink Smart Monitor. A leading medical device innovator, Medtronic has been using this type of technology to help patients with cardiac devices monitor their health. More than 1 million people currently use the company’s CareLink Network to transmit data collected by their cardiac devices, including heart rhythm fluctuations and device diagnostics. Until now, however, data from implantable pacemakers had to be transmitted through a landline.

Medtronic’s new product, which is now commercially available, uses a handheld sensor and Bluetooth technology to allow patients to securely transmit data from their Medtronic pacemakers using a smartphone or tablet enabled with the monitoring app. The app is available in both Apple and Android platforms.

What’s more, they can link their data to a personal profile on the MyCareLink Connect website to manage their information, track the date and content of data transfers, and receive email or text reminders and confirmations about their data transfers. Users need a prescription from their doctors to obtain the handheld sensor.

We can well imagine the technology will make it easier for cardiac patients to be active participants in their own health care, and it could even save lives. Faster sharing of important data could help physicians spot and resolve potential problems before they become crises.

Technology that helps people be healthier and supports better patient outcomes? You don’t have to be a science nerd to appreciate that!