Mobile cardiac telemetry proves cost-effective

An observational study of more than 200,000 cardiovascular patients demonstrated significant in-hospital cost savings in the 12 months following diagnosis using mobile cardiac telemetry (MCT), reports an article in the peer-reviewed journal Medical Devices: Evidence and Research

MCT is a small sensor and monitor that patients wear daily. When a cardiac event occurs, the system instantaneously transmits the data to a center for analysis and response, which in turn sends a report along with graphs and trends to the patient's physician for diagnosis and therapy management.

In the study, a retrospective analysis was completed on claims data spanning 57 months used to compare diagnostic efficacy, therapeutic outcomes and cardiovascular costs incurred in the hospital setting for patients diagnosed with MCT, Holter and event devices. The claims came from an employer database that counts 2.8 million cardiovascular patients from an insured population of about 10 million members. 

The study's most significant finding was the level of cost savings per patient in cardiovascular in-hospital costs when an MCT was used versus either an event or Holter monitor. The study shows that the substitution of the MCT for an event or Holter monitor provides a 10 to 15 times return on investment in the first 12 months post-utilization.

In addition, results demonstrated a significantly higher diagnostic yield in patients utilizing MCT, at 61 percent, compared to event, at 23 percent, and Holter, at 24 percent. Therapeutic intervention measured through the prescription of antiarrhythmic drugs was also substantially higher in patients monitored with MCT, at 61 percent, compared to event, at 39 percent, and Holter, at 43 percent. 

"Given the superior outcome of MCT regarding both patient care and hospital savings, hospitals only stand to gain by enforcing protocols that favor the MCT system over the Event or the Holter monitor," concludes the article.

In related news, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared Mega Electronics' eMotion ECG monitor to work with Android-based smartphones. The Finnish company's device provides real-time remote heart rhythm monitoring that collects data and provides caregivers with alarms when abnormal heart rhythms are detected.

The eMotion ECG monitor leverages wireless electrodes that communicate via Bluetooth with a smartphone app. In addition, a GPS system can alert emergency services of a patient's location in case of emergency and the software has the flexibility to incorporate Bluetooth-based blood pressure and weight monitoring.

To learn more:
- read the article