Patient monitoring, cardiology  

St Jude Medical's remote patient monitoring system receives FDA approval

21 July 2005

The new version of software for the St Jude Medical's Housecall Plus remote patient monitoring system has received approval from the United States FDA. The system monitors implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) patients.

This upgrade enables medical professionals to create electronic PDF (portable document format) files of patient's device interrogation results and either transmit them electronically or post them on a secure website for further review by physicians. The upgrade also expands in-office networking capabilities.

"With the number of ICD patients expected to expand significantly over the next few years, physicians face an enormous challenge in managing regular follow-up visits for those patients," said Michael J. Coyle, President of St. Jude Medical's Cardiac Rhythm Management Division. "The version 2.1 software upgrade offers physicians even greater flexibility to provide excellent follow-up care more efficiently when using the Housecall Plus system."

The Housecall Plus system offers live communication with a medical professional. The company claims it is the world's first remote patient monitoring system to transmit complex ICD data in real time over standard telephone lines for immediate review. The complete diagnostics available in the system provide real-time electrograms, surface ECGs, signals and settings of the ICD, delivered therapies and stored electrograms.

Remote monitoring simplifies follow-up visits for all patients, but it is especially important for housebound patients or those who live in isolated areas. While the system does not eliminate the need for doctor visits, it offers important insights into when a patient should be seen. Costs associated with unnecessary office and emergency room visits may also be reduced. A survey of patients currently using the system indicated a very high satisfaction with the convenience of transmitting from home versus driving to a clinic.

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