Medtronic streamlines clinician access to cardiac device data with wireless communications

19 May 2005

Minneapolis, USA. Medtronic, Inc. has announced three major advances that further boost its comprehensive patient management offerings and ability to help streamline clinician access to and use of important cardiac data.

First, the company has received U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval to distribute a wireless-enabled, in-clinic device programmer, the Medtronic CareLink(R) (Model 2090) programmer. The new programmer version will enable wireless communication with implanted devices and high-speed data connectivity using the internationally recognized Medical Implant Communications Services (MICS) radiofrequency band. The MICS band, established by the Federal Communications Commission, helps ensure reliable transmission of patient data, compared to other frequency bands such as 900 MHz that may have a higher rate of interference. This FDA approval sets the foundation for efficient and flexible clinician access to important information retrieved from Medtronic devices that can help guide the care of chronic disease.

Medtronic also announced the release of its newest version of the Medtronic Paceart System, its 2005 First Edition. With this edition, customers now can transfer Medtronic device follow-up session data from the Medtronic CareLink programmer directly into the Paceart system. The new data transfer process uses a secure network interface that eliminates the need for data transport using a 3.5" floppy disk, resulting in improved efficiency and potential elimination of human error with manual transfers. Medtronic has offered this Paceart direct data transfer option to other leading device manufacturers for the potential future benefit of clinician customers. The new edition also broadens Paceart's reach by allowing user access from any PC communicating with a clinic's network.

In another move to improve customer efficiency, Medtronic and various electronic medical record (EMR) and practice management system vendors are collaborating on future integration between the Paceart system and other information technology systems. Based on this work with Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Gateway Electronic Medical Management Systems (GEMMS), NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, Inc., and Cerner Corporation, Medtronic intends to facilitate interoperability between the Paceart system and these EMRs for enhanced data management.

"Medtronic offers the most comprehensive and proven patient management services available to the cardiology community," said Reggie Groves, vice president of Medtronic Patient Management. "The combination of our sophisticated device diagnostics and data access and management tools uniquely positions Medtronic to help ensure that essential device information gets to the proper physicians in the most efficient path - and when and where the physicians can act on it. These new advancements are important steps in our strategy to provide passive device monitoring and seamless data transfer for the best possible care of patients."

Medtronic is a corporate member of HL-7, the international organization that governs the creation of standards for interfacing health care information technology applications, and is a member of HL-7's Implanted Device Cardiac (IDC) Project, which is a group designing the first set of international interface standards applying to products like Paceart.

The Medtronic CareLink Network is an Internet-based patient management system enabling more than 500 cardiology clinics to remotely manage more than 32,000 patients who have a Medtronic implantable cardiac device. The May 2005 issue of WIRED magazine's Wired 40 feature highlights the Medtronic CareLink Network, suggesting it "could change medicine forever."

Medtronic Paceart is a universal data management solution for clinics that implant sophisticated cardiac devices to treat patients with heart rhythm problems. It stores programmed device settings, summarizes patient data into convenient reports, creates patient correspondence, schedules in-clinic patient visits and remote transmissions, speeds records processing, and assists in billing management. Paceart systems are installed in over 1,000 clinics managing more than 1.5 million patients with implanted cardiac devices. More information about the Paceart system is available at 

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