New wireless sensor to monitor heart failure

Credit: St. Jude Medical

The CardioMEMS HF System is a new implantable micro wireless monitoring sensor that has been introduced at The University of Rochester (UR) Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital, allowing those suffering from heart failure (a life-threatening condition) to manage the disease, in turn helping to lower the hospitalization rates of this group.

The 4.5 inch device reduces the risk of hospitalzation by enabling personalized and proactive monitoring of the patient’s condition. The CardioMEMS HF System comprises of a wireless implantable sensor which sends data to Strong Memorial on a daily basis from a pillow given to patients, and the heart failure team at the hospital use the data to check for one of the indirect indicators of worsening heart failure – increased pulmonary artery pressure.

According to the director of the Heart and Vascular Program in Heart Failure and Transplantation Leway Chen, M.D., M.P.H, the new device affords significant advantages for both doctor and patient: “This technology is innovative and benefits patients who may suffer with worsening heart failure well before we were able to detect it. The sensor lets us detect changes in a patient’s heart function that could significantly risk their health and require hospitalization.”

Strong Memorial’s first patient to be fitted with the sensor, Kenneth Moore, is hopeful that it will end the need for recurrent hospital visits for his condition, four of which have occurred in the past year and a half. Moore (51), a father of two and former auto mechanic who resides in Jordan (3 hours from Auburn, GA), has difficulty breathing due to fluid retention in his lungs.

UR Medicine’s specialty team took over Moore’s case a number of years ago from Auburn cardiologist James Connelly, M.D. and Syracuse cardiologist Traian Anghel, M.D., who had been overseeing his treatment since 2012 (which is when his heart problems started when he had a serious heart attack). He was referred to UR due to a decline in his condition, which affects 25 million worldwide and 5 million in the U.S. alone.

The symptoms of heart failure include difficulty breathing due to higher intra-cardiac (within heart) pressure because of the heart being unable to empty the left ventricle, resulting in abnormally high fluid retention. The CardioMEMS device allows heart experts to monitor this pressure and adjust treatment accordingly. Moore was a good candidate for the sensor (which is manufactured by St. Jude Medical) as his symptoms occurrred so often, according to Himabindu Vidula, M.D., M.S. of UR.

Strong Memorial is the primary teaching hospital of UR and this is where the Heart Failure & Transplant Program of the University is located. The center serves the majority of NY state from Northern New York to the state border with Pennsylvania and is the only comprehensive center of its kind in Upstate New York.

More information can be found at: University of Rochester Medical Center.




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