The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Abbott St. Jude Medical’s Confirm Rx insertable cardiac monitor (ICM), a smartphone compatible ICM designed to help physicians remotely identify cardiac arrhythmias. The device may provide a new way for patients to engage in their health care as they monitor for abnormal heart rhythms while staying connected to their physician remotely.
“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” says Avi Fischer, VP and medical director of Abbott’s Cardiac Rhythm Management business.
Abbott’s new device allows patients to connect their ICM to their smartphone via the company’s myMerlin mobile app. Once implanted, Confirm Rx continuously monitors heart rhythms to detect a range of cardiac arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation (AF).
Data collected by the device is then securely transmitted to a patient’s physician via the mobile app on a schedule set by the clinic.
The app allows patients to record symptomatic events from their own smartphone without the need for additional hardware such as handheld activators or bedside transmitters.
The device and mobile app are designed to allow for continuous heart monitoring using the patient’s smartphone to record episodes of AF. It also enables the patient to send their heart rhythm information to their doctor without interrupting daily activities.
While the Confirm Rx ICM continuously monitors for abnormal heart rhythms and transmits data to a patient’s physician, the myMerlin app also allows patients to track symptoms proactively, sync their data with their clinic at any time, and view their transmission history without having to contact their clinic to confirm successful data transfers.
Not the first smartphone compatible heart rhythm management product released this year, the Compatible Rx is another step into a new area of patient engagement and remote monitoring that is currently developing in the field.