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Remote monitoring lowers mortality rate for cardiac patients: St Jude study

Iain Morris
May 28, 2014
Shares in medical device maker St Jude Medical have risen since the company released data showing that cardiac patients using its remote monitoring technology were more than twice as likely to survive as others.

Results from more than 260,000 patients implanted with either pacemakers or defibrillators indicated that usage of remote monitoring increased the probability of survival by 2.4 times.

The study results were released on 8 May 2014, since when the company’s share price has risen by some 1.5%.

Data also showed that greater adherence to remote monitoring further increased patient welfare.

For patients transmitting weekly data from the company’s Merlin@Home system to the patient care network at least 75% of the time, the likelihood of mortality was 58% less than for patients not using remote monitoring and 35% less than for those using the technology infrequently.

“This study is the first of its kind to find increased survival when remote monitoring is utilized in pacemaker patients,” said Dr Suneet Mittal, director of EP at the Valley Hospital Health System of New York and New Jersey. “Furthermore, our data suggest that, irrespective of whether a patient has a pacemaker or defibrillator, higher use of remote monitoring is associated with better survival.”

St Jude (St Paul, MN, USA) says the observations have major implications for individual patient care and best-practice guidelines.

All of the company’s implantable cardiac devices capable of radiofrequency remote monitoring were included in the study, which represented the largest investigation to date of remote monitoring pacemaker patients.

“Patients with implanted cardiac devices are typically required to visit doctors’ offices several times per year to have their device performance checked, which for many can be impractical,” said Mark Carlson, the chief medical officer for St Jude. “This new research demonstrates that the Merlin patient care system not only adds convenience for physicians and patients, it helps patients to live longer.”
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