Most implanted cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators now use two-way wireless technology for routine monitoring and device adjustments. The implants also can send alerts if something goes wrong with the person’s heart or the device itself. We’ve written about wearable cardiac monitors such as Abbott’s Confirm Rx ICM insertable monitor. Biofourmis’ beatHF end-to-end solution consists of wearable sensors, a mobile app, an analytic engine, and a centralized web-based platform for caregivers who monitor cardiac patient health.

Ochsner Health System and Geneva Health Solutions (GHS) announced a cloud-based platform to monitor cardiac implants. Ochsner is a Louisiana-based healthcare system with a history of innovation in cardiac care, according to the joint announcement, including involvement in more than 100 clinical trials. Ochsner was also the site of the first heart transplant in the U.S. Gulf South region. GHS provides device data management and remote monitoring for implantable cardiac devices.

The Ochsner and GHS relationship is newsworthy because when Ochsner patient implants transmit data, it will no longer go directly to the cardiology department, but instead to the GHS cloud-based platform. The platform addresses the problem of data overload, or as GHS describes it, a “data deluge.” GHS aggregates cardiac device data from major manufacturers and helps cardiology practices focus on working with patients, not managing data. The monitoring service becomes an outsourced extension of the cardiology team.

According to GHS, more than 60 U.S. cardiology practices use its patent-pending platform, which helps improve physician and staff workflow, increase patient compliance, identify critical cardiac conditions in advance, detect problems with the devices, and hold down hospitalization costs. 

The arrangement between Ochsner and GHS sounds like a practical, efficient solution. As with any out-sourcing solution, it requires an exit plan that identifies alternative services and a rock-solid plan to transfer all patient data in the event that the first provider ceases operations. As digital processing plays an increasing role in healthcare, those in charge of the systems need to create increasingly complex contingency plans.