SmartHeart Device Reduces Hospital Visits for Heart Patients
Checking your heart at home
People with heart problems need careful monitoring. Often this requires taking time off from work to go to hospital appointments. For many people with heart problems, it is important that their doctors have access to regular electrocardiograms (EKGs) especially when they have symptoms such as palpitations, chest pain or breathlessness or following a heart attack.
Monitor your EKG from the comfort of your home
In a recent announcement, the manufacturer of a remote system (TeleMedicine) that allows an EKG taken at home to be shared with a hospital clinic presented the latest results from two clinical trials. These trials, named HELP-MI and TELE-ACS, are happening in the United States at the Mayo Clinic and in the United Kingdom at the Imperial College London.
What is SmartHeart?
SmartHeart is a special device that runs on batteries and has a 12-lead EKG and rhythm strip. It can send the EKG results to healthcare professionals using Bluetooth technology. It was given the green light by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012 for monitoring patients remotely.
Latest research findings
These two trials showed that using SmartHeart reduced emergency room visits for post-heart attack patients by 27.5%.Using the device also lowered the rate of these patients being readmitted to the hospital by 55%. This means that home monitoring after a heart attack is proving to be a helpful tool in keeping heart patients healthier and reducing their hospital trips.
Home monitoring is here to stay.
By allowing patients to record their personal data in the comfort of their own home and at a time that is more convenient could be extended to many other diseases and is already underway for people living with diabetes. Reducing the barriers associated with attending multiple hospital visits has the potential to save patients and the healthcare system a huge amount of money.