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Anthem™ - First pacemaker of its kind

Anthem 1st - Patient and Staff image

The Belfast Trust Cardiological team is one of the first centres in the UK and Ireland to implant a permanent pacemaker capable of wireless telemetry outside a clinical study/NTA setting. Even though wireless telemetry has been used in implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD’s) for some time, the Accent™ and Anthem™ from St Jude Medical are the first commercially available pacemakers with that capability. During implantation, wireless telemetry allows the pacemaker to be checked and programmed from afar without a “wand” in the sterile field while the surgeon continues to operate. During follow-up, wireless telemetry allows the pacemaker to be interrogated without a wand, which is especially desirable if the patient uses a transmitter for remote pacemaker follow-up and monitoring from home.

The Belfast Trust has been leading the way in the adoption of remote healthcare technologies, notably in following up and monitoring of ICD patients, many of whom also suffer from heart failure. The commercial launch of the Accent™ and Anthem™ pacemakers by St Jude Medical marks a major step in the extension of this facility to pacemaker patients.

Currently, the Belfast Trust follows up approximately 1,300 ICD and 3,000 pacemaker patients. Apart from replacing their traditional 6 or 12 monthly physical visits to hospitals, remote device access technologies allow these patients to be monitored for their cardiac conditions on a daily basis.

Mr McKinley, the Anthem™ pacemaker recipient, who suffers from heart failure, says:
“I am looking forward to replacing my 6 monthly visits to the hospital with daily monitoring of the performance of my pacemaker and my health.”

Dr Ernest Lau, Consultant Electrophysiologist at the Belfast Trust, who implanted Mr McKinley’s pacemaker, says:
“The Anthem pacemaker is arguably the most technologically sophisticated pacemaker available on the market at the moment. It has many new functions that will greatly enhance patient management in their own rights, independent of the bonus benefits of wireless telemetry and remote device access capability.”

Wide scale adoption of remote device access technologies on its ICD and pacemaker patients by the Belfast Trust will strengthen the care it provides to the Northern Ireland population, and will go a long way towards meeting the government’s target of having 5,000 patients with chronic medical conditions on remote monitoring by 2011 announced by the Health Minister Michael McGimpsey in January 2008.

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