Data Gets Healthy

8/20/2012


Patient monitoring systems have the potential to change the way we view medicine. Instead of being hooked up to monitors, wireless devices can give patients the freedom to move around and live more regular lives. And doctors can receive information that could alert them to a condition before it becomes life threatening.

Today, patient monitoring systems take many different forms. Recently, a new service was launched in the U.S. that aims to make it easier to remotely monitor patients with implanted cardiac devices. CareLink Express Service from Medtronic, www.medtronic.com, is a remote monitoring system that allows doctors insight into the status of patients’ implanted devices. With the data in hand, they can make quicker decisions about patient care.

Medtronic says the service was tested during a pilot program during the past six months. On average, hospitals were able to reduce patient wait times, allowing for quicker care. The system works by providing healthcare facilities with a CareLink Express monitor, which can communicate with most Medtronic implantable cardiac devices, such as pacemakers.


When a patient with an implanted device comes to the hospital, the monitor can quickly communicate with the device, and the data collected is transmitted to the CareLink Network. Once there, a device expert will be able to review the data and provide as assessment.

In addition to being available through the CareLink Network, device data can also be automatically exported to a hospital’s EHR (electronic health record) system, as well as sent to a doctor.

Using connected technology to manage health is a growing trend, as evidenced by recent news regarding partnerships between companies such as AT&T and Alere. According to Kalorama Information, www.kaloramainformation.com, advanced patient monitoring systems with wireless capability continue to be one of the fastest growing medical device areas in terms of revenue growth, with sales of these systems more than doubling between 2007 and 2011.

Kalorama says the market for advanced patient monitoring systems includes wireless and remote patient monitors, applications and equipment for processing data, and applications and equipment for transferring patient monitoring data into an EMR (electronic medical record). The U.S. market for these systems may increase to $8.9 billion by 2011.

New advancements such as Medtronic’s CareLink Express should pave the way for patients to spend more time getting well, and less time waiting.





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