First or not, wireless pacemaker heralds a revolution in remote monitoring

Although we take exception to the claim that a wireless pacemaker implanted in a New York patient last month was the first of its kind in the world, CNN reports that the surgeon who performed that operation has since given the devices to about a dozen more people, and that the doctor believes the treatment eventually will become standard as a way of keeping tabs on cardiac patients. "If a patient's asleep and you see this abnormal rate, you can bring them in, put them on a blood thinner and prevent them from having a stroke," Dr. Steven Greenberg of the Arrhythmia and Pacemaker Center at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, NY, told the cable network.

Whether it's a first or not, the St. Jude Medical wireless pacemaker represents the leading edge of a revolution in home monitoring, thanks to wireless technologies. "All of this technology is being developed to provide access to care," said Dr. Alexander Vo, executive director of the University of Texas Medical Branch's Center for Telehealth Research and Policy in Galveston, TX. "With access we can start providing preventive care which prevents inappropriate hospitalization and can really lead to tremendous cost savings," he said.

For more about this expected boom in remote monitoring:
- read this CNN piece
- see the Aug. 11 FierceMobileHealthcare story about the wireless pacemaker