What is it?
Cardiac device remote monitoring uses sophisticated technology across mobile and wireless networks to enable implanted devices (such as pacemakers, defibrillators, and loop recorders) to be monitored and checked remotely, without a patient needing to attend a clinic.
Traditionally, patients needed an in-clinic face-to-face follow-up every 6 to 12 months to verify the integrity of implanted devices and, if necessary, make any changes to its settings. Your clinician may offer you the opportunity to take advantage of this latest technology to have your new pacemaker or other cardiac device monitoring remotely. This provides a safer, more convenient way for you and your doctor to manage your heart condition. Your cardiologist will have faster access to critical information and you get to spend less time in hospitals.
As well as continuously monitoring and regulating your heart’s rhythm, your device stores information about your heart’s performance, such as your heart rate and rhythms, as well as the performance and integrity of the device itself, eg. battery life, lead function. If your device has remote monitoring capability, it will send this information to your care team via an integrated aerial that connects to the internet.
It’s important to note that even with remote monitoring, you will still need to attend a follow up appointment after your device is implanted to check your wound is well-healed. You will also need to attend all clinic appointments as recommended by your care team.
To use this service, you will need to have a smartphone, wireless internet service or mobile network coverage subscription that will work with your special transmitting device. Your clinician will be able to answer questions about the type of connection you can use, and what you need to do at the first visit after your implant procedure. Once set up, the wireless remote monitor will check your implanted device once every day. If an issue is detected, it will send an alert and associated data to the clinic where it will be reviewed during normal office hours.
The latest devices and monitors are very sophisticated and, if they are wireless, will automatically check that your implanted device is working properly every day while you sleep. Once it’s set up there’s usually nothing else for you to do. In the event of any issues with the device you will be contacted to visit the clinic for review/adjustment. Should you experience any symptoms that cause you concern, contact your clinic and they will be able evaluate your cardiac condition remotely and advise on a course of action. In the event of a medical emergency, call 000.
The required interval between follow-up appointments is dependent on each patients individual condition and the device implanted. It is very important that you attend all clinic appointments as recommended by your care team.
Important things you should know
This service is not an emergency monitoring system. In an emergency or in case of any type of medical complaint, notify your physician or GP immediately or call 000
The remote monitoring service will reduce but not totally replace the need for standard in-clinic (i.e. face-to-face) follow-up visits, which are necessary to maintain optimal device performance
Your physician will only evaluate data during office hours, and will contact you if necessary
Information gathered will only be used in support of your medical treatment
You should only use your monitor when instructed by your physician to do so
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