St. Jude Medical's Merlin™ Technology Contributes to Reduced Hospitalizations Confirmed
ST. PAUL, Minn. - St. Jude Medical, Inc. a global medical device company, announced that data presented during a Late Breaking Clinical Trial Session during Heart Rhythm 2015, the Heart Rhythm Society's Annual Scientific Sessions, found that patients with cardiac devices who use remote monitoring have significantly fewer hospitalizations and lower overall healthcare costs than patients who do not use or adhere with the technology. The findings were a result of a five-year study, one of the largest to date on remote monitoring technologies.
"This study is the first of its kind to find an economic benefit when remote monitoring is utilized in pacemaker, defibrillator and cardiac resynchronization patients in the U.S.," said Jonathan Piccini, M.D., associate professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. "Use of remote monitoring is associated with lower risks of hospitalization, shorter hospital stays, and lower rates of heart failure and stroke hospitalization. Additionally, since fewer than half of cardiac device patients currently use remote monitoring, our findings suggest a significant opportunity for quality improvement. These important observations should have significant implications for patient management, as well as costs to the health care system."
The study, which obtained data from a real-world setting, reinforces the important role of remote monitoring in improving the overall care of patients treated with implantable cardiac devices. Researchers analyzed data from more than 90,000 patients with pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices. The data showed that remote monitoring with systems, such as the St. Jude Medical Merlin.net™ Patient Care Network (PCN), eliminates 10 hospitalizations and 119 hospital days and resulted in cost savings of more than $370,000 per 100 patients annually.
"This study adds to the growing body of evidence that remote monitoring benefits cardiac device patients," said Mark D. Carlson, M.D., chief medical officer for St. Jude Medical. "In addition to improved survival, reduced hospital stays and lower healthcare costs, the Merlin.net Patient Care Network offers a convenient alternative to visiting a doctor's office several times a year, which is typically required for patient follow-up."
The findings offer additional evidence of the benefits of remote monitoring. In a study presented at last year's Heart Rhythm Society meeting, and recently published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology, St. Jude Medical found improved survival rates of patients using the company's Merlin.net PCN. Patients with high adherence to remote monitoring had more than twice (2.4x) the probability of survival than that of patients without remote monitoring. High adherence was measured as weekly transmissions of patient data from the Merlin@home™ transmitter to the Merlin.net PCN at least 75 percent of the time. Recommendations for remote monitoring technologies were recently updated and published by the Heart Rhythm Society and can be found at www.hrsonline.org.
"Recent data surrounding remote monitoring technologies have been important to advancing the understanding of the benefits these systems provide," said Niraj Varma, M.D., electrophysiologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH. "The updated recommendations announced recently by the Heart Rhythm Society reflect the findings from these important studies and highlight the importance of using remote monitoring systems to improve the consistency of follow-up care for patients. We will continue to work with industry to further reinforce how utilization of the remote monitoring systems can improve clinical outcomes for patients around the world."
About the Merlin.net Patient Care Network
The Merlin.net PCN supports St. Jude Medical™ CRT, ICD, and pacemaker devices. The system was designed to help physicians efficiently analyze therapeutic and diagnostic data. Once a supported device is implanted, the Merlin.net PCN gathers and stores data from the implant procedure, in-clinic follow-up visits and from remote device transmissions sent from a patient's home. Remote transmissions are sent via the Merlin@home transmitter, a system that allows patient data from an implanted cardiac device to be wirelessly downloaded and securely transmitted for clinician review. Patients using a Merlin@home transmitter can send data to their physician via a broadband Internet connection, cellular network or standard phone line.
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