St. Jude Medical Inc. today announced the
initial implementation of the Housecall TM transtelephonic
monitoring system, the only system available that can use a
telephone to download a complete set of diagnostic data
and programmed parameters from a patient's implanted
The Housecall system was successfully used by 25
patients with St. Jude Medical ICD products. In all cases,
the patients were able to use conventional telephones to
download and relay all information stored in the memory of
their ICDs. Trained Raytel technicians received the
information and, depending on physician instructions, either
interpreted the data or sent it directly to the doctors'
"Everything went very well in this initial implementation of
Housecall," commented Daniel J. Starks, President and CEO
of St. Jude Medical's Cardiac Rhythm Management Division.
"The Housecall system functioned perfectly, the information
was fully transmitted, and results for all patients were
normal. The patients responded well to using the system and
were pleased that they did not have to make a special trip
to the hospital for ICD monitoring. These results are
Transtelephonic monitoring (TTM) of pacemaker patients has
been standard practice for many years. However, until
Housecall, no TTM system has been able to gather the
vast amounts of diagnostic data collected by today's ICD
systems. ICD patients are currently required to visit their
doctor's office for monitoring and any necessary follow-up.
With the Housecall system, doctors now have access to
high-quality data in a timely manner, which may eliminate
trips to the clinic.
The St. Jude Medical Housecall system gathers general
information on a patient's ICD and how it is currently
functioning (e.g. programmed parameters, patient history,
lead system status, and measured data, including battery
voltage, signal amplitude and lead impedance). Information
on how the device and patient are interacting, such as
real-time intracardiac electrograms, can also be monitored.
More importantly, Housecall also furnishes data on recent
episodes of tachyarrhythmia, or pathologically high heart
rates. Housecall provides information on tachyarrhythmic
episodes (e.g. summary, detailed, or lifetime data), the date
and time of specific events, and stored intracardiac
electrograms relating to such episodes. In summary, the
Housecall system allows the transmission of all data that a
physician typically downloads with a programmer during an
Future Housecall system enhancements will include
Internet compatibility as part of a total web solution to
improve the care of ICD patients. An upcoming study using
the Housecall system will be conducted at the
Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.
According to its Web site, St. Jude Medical, Inc. is dedicated to the design, manufacture and distribution of innovative medical devices of the highest quality, offering physicians,
patients and payers unmatched clinical performance and
demonstrated economic value.
Raytel, headquartered in San
Mateo, Calif., is a leading provider of services and efficient
dissemination of technical information to physicians and
patients with cardiovascular disease. These services include
remote cardiac monitoring and testing services utilizing
transtelephonic technology and various Internet initiatives,
as well as cardiovascular centers of excellence and
ambulatory diagnostic cardiovascular facilities.