A new generation of "smart" pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) should reduce physician's office visits and trips to the emergency department.
Three studies showing the benefits of the new technology were presented at the annual scientific sessions of the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology in May.
In the CareLink Trial, 10 US centers involving 59 patients with ICDs were given Internet home monitoring technology. Patients completed 119 transmissions, with 10 calls being made to a support center for help. A total of 98% of patients rated the device as somewhat or very easy to use, and 97% of physicians were somewhat or very satisfied with the Web site and quality of the data. CareLink is manufactured by Medtronic Inc of Minneapolis. Mark H. Schoenfeld, MD, associate professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, presented the findings.
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