PHILADELPHIA, March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For the 5.7 million people in the United States who have heart failure, new technology that monitors their condition from within the heart holds exciting promise. Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs. According to Robert Bonow, MD and Douglas Mann, MD, co-editors of Braunwald's Heart Disease (9th Edition, Elsevier, 2012), new implantable devices have the potential to provide physiologic information from within the heart which can then be used to predict episodes of heart failure and possibly reduce the risk of worsening heart failure. The potential of the technology will be among the topics of discussion at the upcoming American College of Cardiology meeting in San Francisco, March 9–11.
"Currently, patients self-monitor symptoms at home, such as rapid weight increase, and call in or upload the information to a nurse remotely," says Mann, Chief of Cardiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and editor of Heart Failure: A Companion to Braunwald's Heart Disease (2nd Edition, Elsevier, 2011). "But this method is not always accurate or specific. There are new devices up for FDA approval that will monitor pressure from inside the heart, making them much more accurate than current monitoring methods."
"Clinical trials have demonstrated that these devices are effective at identifying problems early on so patients can avoid going into the hospital," says Bonow, Goldberg Distinguished Professor of Cardiology, vice-chairman of the Department of Medicine, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Innovation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and editor of Valvular Heart Disease: A Companion to Braunwald's Heart Disease (3rd Edition, Elsevier, 2010). "This can have a big impact in terms of both the patient's well-being and on overall expenses for our health care system."
The latest edition of Braunwald's Heart Disease includes information about new devices for monitoring and managing heart failure in a newly updated chapter online. As hospitals look for ways to avoid penalties, implantable telemonitoring devices have the potential to be a possible cost- and life-saving option.
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Note: Drs. Bonow and Mann will be attending the American College of Cardiology meeting in San Francisco, March 9–11.