Identifying abnormal heart rhythms, known as an arrhythmia, can be difficult for physicians, particularly if the cardiac aberration occurs relatively infrequently. Now, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Abbot’s insertable cardiac monitor which is capable of remotely monitoring a patient’s heartbeat and wirelessly transmitting data through to their smartphone.
The Confirm Rx medical device is the first and only cardiac monitoring device to use Bluetooth as a means of connecting to a smartphone. As the device is implanted under the skin in the chest in a minimally-invasive procedure, it may be a more convenient way for patients to have their heart rhythms monitored, compared to traditional external Holter monitors.
“Confirm Rx shows what we can do with cutting edge communication technology and the most advanced medical devices that provide new opportunities to improve patient care,” said Dr. Avi Fischer, divisional vice president and medical director of Abbott’s Cardiac Rhythm Management business. “By offering a device that uses Bluetooth wireless technology from the patient’s smartphone, we can help physicians easily and remotely diagnose potentially dangerous abnormal heart beats without requiring the patient to use a separate or cumbersome recording device.”
Arrhythmias are often a product of impaired electrical signalling in the heart, which can be caused by disease of injury. As the role of the heart is to pump blood throughout the body, this abnormal rhythm can cause of range of symptoms, from dizziness and fainting to heart palpitations and shortness of breath.
Confirm Rx uses the myMerlin app to collect and securely transmit heart rhythm data to a patient’s physician. The app also encourages patients to engage in their healthcare by allowing them to track their symptoms and view their transmission history with their clinic.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of heart arrhythmia affective up to 6 million individuals in the US. The Confirm Rx medical device can help doctors identify atrial fibrillation, and other forms of arrhythmia, to ensure patients are appropriately medicated to reduce their risk of stroke and other complications.