June 6, 2012
The internet has changed much of how we operate from communicating to shopping, and now health care.
For cardiac patients, having a pacemaker or defibrillators used to mean getting phone checkups or coming to the hospital and getting hooked up on a machine to check your heart.
Now health officials are turning to their computers to track patient information.
“It populates the checks for us and a lot of those checks we are looking for because they’re scheduled to come through, but also checks that are unscheduled,” said Rebecca Hancock, Device Clinic Supervisor.
A patient will have a bedside monitor for their pacemaker or defibrillators.
“A lot of the wireless devices will check somebody in their sleep so they don’t even know that it’s gone through,” said Hancock.
The data from the device is then transmitted to a secure website.
“The devices are looking for arrhythmias or slow heart rate problems or fast heart rate problems to treat and make sure that the heart stays on a steady rhythm,” said Hancock.
If there is a problem, it will often show up as a “red flag”.
“This might be an indicator that we need to tune something up on the device or it might be a new arrhythmia for that patient and that technology has allowed us to pick up on things quicker than we might not have been able to if they were just coming into the clinic at scheduled intervals,” said Hancock.
This new technology could add some convenience for patients.
“For other people who live quite a distance away it does save time and gas money and arranging transportation,” said Hancock.
This small device is only a click of a mouse away, and could save your life.
Although the technology is advanced, you should still pay attention to your body. If you’re having symptoms or notice changes, you should call your doctor or go to an Emergency Department.