Medtronic evaluates remote monitoring of heart activity, weight and
blood pressure in heart failure patients
14 May 2005
Minneapolis, USA. Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT), has begun a U.S. pilot
evaluation with Carematix, Inc. to assess the efficacy and convenience of
remotely monitoring physiological heart data, weight and blood pressure in
the management of heart failure.
Patients with heart failure (NYHA Class II, III or IV) and a Medtronic
implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) or cardiac resynchronization
therapy ICD (CRT-D) device will participate in the evaluation, called REACH
HF (Remote Evaluation using Augmented CareLink Network transmissions for the
management of Heart Failure).
Stephen Hustead, D.O., Metropolitan Cardiology Consultants, Coon Rapids,
Minn., enrolled the first patient in REACH HF last week. The patient has a
Medtronic InSync Sentry(TM) CRT-D system to treat heart failure, which is
the world's only implantable medical therapy offering automatic fluid status
monitoring in the thoracic cavity, the chest area encompassing the lungs and
Patients will regularly transmit physiological information from home to
clinicians using both the Medtronic CareLink(R) Network and the
Carematix(TM) Wellness System. With the Medtronic CareLink Network, patients
transmit comprehensive heart rhythm activity data from their implantable
cardiac device to a secure server using a portable monitor that is connected
to a standard phone line. Using the Carematix Wellness System, patients
transmit weight and blood pressure information from wireless biometric
devices to a base station and then to a secure server via a phone line.
Physicians and nurses subsequently review the data on confidential Internet
websites as they care for participating patients and will report on the
clinical utility of the combined data for the management of heart failure.
"Heart failure is often an unstable condition that can be very difficult
to manage, and getting access to the right data in a convenient manner is
paramount to better care for heart failure patients," said Reggie Groves,
vice president of Medtronic Patient Management. "Medtronic is already able
to deliver critical physiologic information to physicians with innovations
like the Medtronic CareLink Network and InSync Sentry system. REACH HF
furthers our commitment to understanding the value of regular, remote access
to various physiologic information. We are pleased to collaborate with
Carematix and look forward to applying our learnings to future Medtronic
products and services soon."
"Carematix shares Medtronic's vision of enhancing the care of chronic
disease by delivering timely, important clinical information from patient
homes to physicians for informed interventions. Our system enhances patient
compliance by requiring minimal behavior change; for example, the wireless
weight scale can be placed in a location most convenient for the patient. We
hope this evaluation will lead to advancements in the management of those
suffering from heart failure," said Sukhwant Khanuja, PhD, CEO of Carematix.
An estimated five million Americans live with heart failure, a condition
in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to sufficiently meet the
body's needs. Symptoms often severely limit participation in normal
activities — walking down one supermarket aisle can be too far to go without
stopping to rest. Spikes in weight or significant changes in blood pressure
are early indications that the patient's condition is deteriorating. The
ability to closely monitor patients outside the medical setting combined
with an early disease management program has been shown to reduce
hospitalization and mortality.
Heart failure is the most costly cardiovascular disease in the United
States at an estimated $40 billion per year. As the largest single line item
for Medicare, heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization for
people over 65.
More information about the Medtronic CareLink Network can be found at
Additional information about Carematix is available at