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Back To Vidyya Telephonic Monitoring System For ICDs

The Need For In-Hospital Monitoring May Become A Thing Of The Past

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 cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).

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' offices.

"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 extremely encouraging."

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 office visit. 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.

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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