Heart(y) News, Dec 10: Medical Devices Updates

December 10, 2010 by  

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Phone it in: Remote monitoring could offer peace of mind for patients with “recalled” ICD leads

What a bummer when the implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) inside you and is supposed to regulate your heart’s rhythm suddenly malfunctions or even “recalled” for safety reasons.  The well-publicized recall of Medtronic ICD leads made a lot of patients worried. That is why some measuring of monitoring ICDs is in place but it is costly and impractical to have the patient come in regularly for checks. So why not a monitoring from remote? ICDs are electronically controlled so it must be possible to insert a small chip to monitor the function of the device and transmit it to a data center. Remote monitoring can also assuage the fears associated with ICDs and “ give many patients some welcome reassurance about having a device in the first place, a sense that they’re being closely watched.”
Freedom® Portable Driver Surpasses 1,200 Days of Patient Life

A total of 19 patients are using Syncardia’s Freedom® Portable Driver to power its Total Artificial Heart while waiting for a heart donors – some outside the 4 walls of the hospital. Many of these patients are leading a normal life of family, eating out and physical exercise. The driver now “accounts for more than 1,200 days of patient life.”

Federal report linking Dr Mark Midei and Abbott finds “potential fraud, waste, and abuse”

The case against against the “superstenter” Dr. Mark Midei has taken a different turn. Dr. Midei was accused of implanting unneeded stents while working at the St Joseph Medical Center in Maryland. Whereas he was previously portrayed as an innocent victim, there are now indications of “potential fraud, waste and abuse.” A US Senate Finance Committee report claims to have found financial links between Dr. Midei and Abbott, the stent’s manufacturer. The report continues to show that Midei was one of the highest users of Abbott’s stent in the US Northeast and had at one time implanted 30 Abbott stents in 1 day. Midei was supposed to have received some “incentive” gifts from the company.

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