What is a Device Follow-Up Clinic?
Patients with implanted pacemakers and cardiac defibrillators require regular evaluation of their implanted device to assure proper functioning of the implant and prevent any future complications. Our device clinic is designed to provide comprehensive long-term follow- up care for a variety of implanted devices such as pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, loop recorders and CRT (heart failure).In addition, the clinic offers other services such as pre-operative evaluation of devices, trans-telephonic monitoring for pacemakers, 24-and 48-hour holter monitoring, echocardiographyically-guided AV optimization for heart failure devices, 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, programming assessment for patients with symptoms even after device placement and event recording monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The goal of the clinic is to evaluate the status of the device and to optimize its function and improve the patient's quality of life.
With the advancement in the field of communication technology, most major device companies now offer Home transmitters, an Internet-Based Home Follow-Up System. This system offers patients the convenient and time-saving option of having a device checked from home instead of going to the doctor's office or clinic. The data from the devices can be downloaded by the transmitter either automatically, using the radio-frequency-based wireless technology, or manually, by the patient, using a telemetry wand. The wand can read the data from the device when placed on the skin overlying the device.
The data is then sent to the physician via the landline phone or the GSM network where all the data is stored on a server. This data can be viewed or downloaded by the physician via internet by logging onto the secure web server using a password. The system provides information on battery status, programming issues, capture thresholds, impedances etc. In addition, diagnostic data, such as heart rate, at rest and during exercise, atrial fibrillation, etc. are also obtained. The data is transferred at scheduled times, at least once a day. Moreover, whenever critical data (customized for each patient) is obtained by the data server, the manufacturer's service provider sends alerts to the physician in the form of e-mails, sms, and fax or phone messages. If necessary, the physician may ask the patient via patient monitor to contact the physician by phone. Reprogramming of the implant via Internet-Based Home Follow-Up System (remote monitoring) is not possible and will require a visit to the office.
The internet-based home follow up system, thus allows the physician to monitor each patient very closely and prevent any cardiovascular event at an early stage. We also provide a state-of-the-art remote follow up system for devices, as provided by the manufacturer.