Greetings from CRT 2011! We are at the Omni Hotel in Washington, DC for the annual Cardiovascular Research Technologies (CRT) conference sponsored by Washington Hospital Center (WHC). This boutique interventional cardiology conference began Sunday and will continue through Tuesday afternoon with scientific sessions spanning medical and interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, and vascular research.
At yesterday's ACS and AMI Management workshop, presenters from the Washington Hospital Center highlighted its novel telemedicine pilot program, the CodeHeart Application, to aid the management and treatment of ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients. If successful, care innovations such as these could drastically reduce door to balloon times and heighten efficiencies at hospitals performing emergent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
Through the program, hospital leaders collaborated with AT&T to create a secure network, enabling EMS staff to transmit live video containing EKG readings from the emergency ambulance to physicians' Apple iPhones for patients experiencing a STEMI. Physicians can interpret results quickly and accurately to determine whether to activate the cath lab and team should treatment with emergent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) be necessary. The system--using cloud technology and a single 5 MB iPhone application--downloads information using password-protected Apple iTunes software. Likewise, hospital administrators worked closely with cell phone service providers to ensure that data transmission is HIPPA compliant.
So far, the hospital has found that images are interpreted with 95 percent accuracy for patients experiencing ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, ventricular arrhythmia, and other cardiovascular events. Further, these data can be downloaded to the hospital's electronic medical records (EMR) and movable workstations within the ED and patient rooms, expediting hospital operations. WHC is now delivering smart phones to ambulance staff, hospital cardiologists, ED physicians, fellows and several referring hospitals in Maryland that send their patients to WHC for intervention. Though an initially expensive endeavor, this telemedicine initiative has the potential to impact care in areas beyond cardiology. Additional disease states, including stroke and trauma, are areas for expansion for these programs and could result in additional clinical and potentially financial benefits in the future.
Stay tuned for more updates from Technology Insights' coverage of CRT 2011.
Awareness of chronic disease technologies and remote monitoring among not only the medical community but the general population has continued to increase dramatically, as evidenced by the recent New York Times article about implantable defibrillators ability to remotely track heart failure patients. News coverage of these devices, which are poised to significantly improve quality of life for the 6 million people in the U.S. who suffer from HF, emphasizes the shift toward patient- and consumer-focused care and highlight's the public's increasing involvement in self-managing their health to a greater extent. In the Pipeline, we've covered numerous different developments in remote monitoring, which can all be found here.
For more information about remote monitoring, continue reading after the jump, or contact me at WynnP@advisory.com to discuss how Tech Insights is tracking these devices and their effect on EP and HF strategy.
New York Times Tracks Implantable CV Monitors
The ACC's Door to Balloon (D2B) initiative helped establish the concept "time is muscle," showing that early intervention for patients suffering a heart attack can significantly improve outcomes. Despite huge improvements in the hospital efficiencies in treating heart attack patients, however, individuals often wait too long to seek medical attention. A new implantable device presented this Wednesday at the 33rd annual scientific sessions for the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) could help close the gap between symptom onset and medical attention by providing a clear alert to the patient that he or she is suffering a heart attack.
Angel Medical Systems' AngelMed Guardian is about the size of a pacemaker and is implanted into the chest and connected to a lead that is attached to the heart. The lead provides electrogram measurements that are constantly compared to a stored copy of the patient's normal electrogram. Any potentially dangerous shift in ST segment causes a series of alerts--the device itself buzzes inside the patient's chest, and an external hand-held telemetry device beeps and flashing LEDs.
New Implantable Device Provides Early Detection of MI, Plaque Rupture