Technology to Monitor Heart Failure
What is Heart Failure?
When the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands, blood pressure within the heart is elevated, leading to heart failure (HF). Significant HF progression over a period of days is known as acute decompensation and leads to hospitalization.
How Can Heart Failure be Monitored?
Directly measuring pulmonary artery pressure (PA) pressure via a procedure called a right-heart catheterization is a standard-of-care practice for managing worsening HF in patients who have been hospitalized. However, since HF is a chronic disease, most days are spent outside the hospital. Therefore, clinicians use a number of indirect markers to monitor HF, including:
- Patient self-monitoring with equipment such as blood pressure cuffs and electronic scales.
- In-clinic devices used by health care providers during frequent office visits.
- Implantable devices that alert patients when they detect impedance changes across the thoracic cavity that may be indicative of fluid accumulation in the chest.
How Does the CardioMEMS™ Technology Work?
The CardioMEMS™ HF System uses a miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor that is implanted in the pulmonary artery during a minimally invasive procedure to directly measure PA pressure. The system allows patients to transmit PA pressure data from their homes to their health care providers allowing for personalized and proactive management to reduce the likelihood of hospitalization.
The implantable sensor is a completely sealed capsule that uses microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology, which allows the creation of sensors with measurement stability and energy efficiency. All of the sensor components are made of materials that have been chosen for their durability, robustness, bio-compatibility, and insensitivity to changes in body chemistry or biology. The sensor is powered by radio frequency (RF) energy. It is implanted into the pulmonary artery using minimally invasive techniques via a catheter and is designed to last the lifetime of the patient.
The sensor does not have a battery or leads and is very small. Once implanted, the sensor wirelessly sends pressure readings to the external patient electronic system. There is no pain or sensation for the patient during the readings. The electronics transmit the readings to a secure website where it can be seen by your Deborah specialist and their team.
The external measurement system wirelessly tracks frequency and uses it to determine the pressure in the pulmonary artery.
At home, HF patients use a portable electronic unit and a special pillow containing an antenna to take daily sensor readings. This is a simple process that takes only a few minutes. The patient’s electronic unit is turned on and the patient lies on the pillow. The electronic unit uses audible signals telling the patient to press the button to initiate a reading. The pressure readings are then wirelessly transmitted to a secure website.
Clinicians access patients’ pressure readings and trending data transmissions using the patient management website, providing valuable clinical insight for guiding treatment decisions. Automated alerts will be sent to Deborah specialist and their team if pressure readings fall outside of prespecified ranges.
The CardioMEMS™ HF System is a game-changing technology that creates a major opportunity for improving outcomes in chronic HF disease management. The system has several advantages including measuring a direct marker of HF progression, the ability to monitor daily HF status without the need to be in a clinical setting, and the capability to automatically transmit important data to Deborah physician.
What is the Potential Impact of the CardioMEMS™ HF System?
The CardioMEMS™ HF System is the first and only FDA-approved HF monitoring device that has been proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions and improve quality of life in class III HF patients who have been hospitalized in the previous 12 months. More than 5 million Americans have HF with 670,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Roughly 1.4 million patients in the U.S. have class III HF, and historically these patients account for nearly half of all HF hospitalizations.
How is the CardioMEMS™ Technology Unique?
St. Jude Medical is at the forefront of developing transformative medical solutions that are changing the way medicine is practiced around the world. The CardioMEMS™ HF System includes a miniature wireless sensor that is implanted into the pulmonary artery using catheter-based procedure. The sensor transmits blood pressure and heart rate data from inside the body. The CardioMEMS™ system allows clinicians to stabilize PA pressures by proactively managing medications and other treatment options while also providing an early indication of worsening HF.