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Vidant Medical Center is first hospital in the east to implant a wireless remote pressure monitoring device in patients with heart failure

October 15, 2015 by Beth Anne Atkins

GREENVILLE, NC – Heart failure specialists at Vidant Medical Center are now able to implant a new system that can measure and monitor pulmonary artery pressures. The system, called CardioMEMS™, includes an implantable pulmonary artery sensor (PA sensor) and delivery system, along with an electronic monitoring system for patients to use at home. 

“This platform is one of the most robust monitoring modalities that are currently available for the management of heart failure” said Dr. Hassan Alhosaini, medical director of the heart failure program at East Carolina Heart Institute. “It is undoubtedly a game changer, allowing clinical providers to pivot from heart failure crisis management to proactive and personalized patient care delivery based on actionable information provided by this remote monitoring modality.” 


The CardioMEMS™ HF System is approved for use in patients with prior history of hospitalization for decompensated heart failure. Because pulmonary artery pressures start to increase as much as three weeks before signs and symptoms such as shortness of breath or weight gain, access to this data provides doctors with a unique opportunity to proactively manage their patients and potentially reduce the risk of heart failure hospitalizations, which has a favorable impact on patients’ well-being. 

  
The PA sensor is about the size of a small paper clip and does not require any batteries or wires. The implantable pressure sensor is permanently placed in the pulmonary artery during a right heart catheterization, often as an outpatient procedure. Once home, patients take a daily reading by lying on a special pillow attached to a console, which then sends the information to the heart failure team. After analyzing the data, the doctor may adjust his or her patient’s heart failure medications accordingly, preventing an unnecessary trip to the physician’s office, emergency department visit or re-hospitalization. 


A study was conducted in 550 patients to determine the efficacy and safety of CardioMEMS in patients with heart failure. The study showed a 37 percent decrease in the rate of heart failure hospitalizations in patients whose providers had access to pulmonary artery pressure data.


“We are excited to be able to offer this new technology to the people of eastern NC,” said Brian Floyd, president, Vidant Medical Center. “We are committed to providing access to advanced options for their health care to deliver innovative treatment, and progress the science of medicine for everyone." 


Approximately 5.8 million people in the United States have heart failure, a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. With proper treatment and lifestyle changes, people with heart failure can live longer and lead more active lives.

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