Critical and general care  

Remote cardiac monitoring network  reaches 50,000 patients

18 November 2005

Minneapolis, USA. The Medtronic CareLink Network has enrolled 50,000 patients and registered over 120,000 data downloads since its launch in 2002. The network is open to patients with certain implantable cardiac devices, including virtually all models of Medtronic implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), combination cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT)-ICDs, and several of its pacemakers.

The Medtronic CareLink Network was the first Internet-based system to help physicians and patients better manage chronic cardiovascular disease treated by implantable device therapy. The system allows patients to receive expert medical advice from their physician while at home or travelling, potentially saving multiple trips per year to the physician's office.

The Network enables patients to transmit data from their implantable device, as instructed by their physician, from anywhere in the 50 states using a portable monitor that is connected to a standard telephone line. Within minutes, the patient's physician and nurses can view the data on a secure Internet Web site. The information, which is comparable to the information provided during an in-clinic device follow-up visit, provides the physician with a view of how the device and patient's heart are operating.

The system provides an efficient, safe and convenient way for specialty physicians to remotely monitor the condition of their patients, and if needed, make adjustments to medication or prescribe additional therapy. Once patients begin using the service, they typically transmit data from their implanted devices three times a year.

"As an organization, Medtronic has continually evolved from simply using device therapy to manage cardiac rhythms to a holistic focus on cardiac disease management — pairing therapies that treat heart rhythms with innovative diagnostics and monitoring to help physicians better manage their patients' overall cardiac disease," said Steve Mahle, president, Medtronic Cardiac Rhythm Management. "The Medtronic CareLink Network has allowed us to be on the cutting-edge of patient management, expanding how physicians and patients interact, and providing solutions for the care of cardiac patients around the globe."

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