Last year, we covered a device called the CardioMEMS HF System that monitors the pressure of the blood pumped by a patient’s heart. The tiny electro-mechanical device is inserted in a patient’s pulmonary artery, where it transmits data wirelessly. The system is important for heart failure patients, as it helps detect deteriorating health of the patient. This means intervention can start sooner than if healthcare workers have to rely on the traditional symptoms that don’t appear until the situation becomes more serious.
Early detection and treatment not only saves lives, but it saves time and money as well. The most important savings come from the fact that patients who get early treatment can often avoid expensive readmission to the hospital. The fact that patients can use the device and get readings while at home, without requiring an office visit with a doctor, means that physicians can get more information and follow a patient’s recovery more closely when using this system.
St. Jude Hospital, the developer of the CardioMEMS system, now cites additional studies that show the dramatic impact that this monitoring can have for patients. In one study over a six month period, heart failure patients without the device were three times more likely to be hospitalized again compared with the group that relied just on the CardioMEMS system to monitor their condition. Given the high cost of hospitalization — and the potential financial penalties for hospitals that readmit too many patients — these results translate into big savings for patients, hospitals, and insurers. It looks to be a clear win for digital Health Tech.