Monitoring pacemakers and defibrillators allows the cardiologist to retrieve a set of data regarding the pacemakers. This is equivalent to a kind of virtual consultation. The only difference is that the doctor cannot adjust the settings of the prosthesis remotely.
This remote monitoring is carried out using a monitor, ideally located on the patient’s bedside table. Every evening, the transmitter communicates automatically with the defibrillator or pacemaker and transmits the information from its memory to the heart rhythm specialist via a secure website. Using the report generated, the medical team will analyse a set of tests carried out each day by the prosthesis: measuring the integrity of the leads, evaluating the condition of the battery, measuring the stimulation thresholds, possible heart rhythm disorders, etc.
The other interesting point of remote monitoring is the possible diagnosis and treatment of both atrial and ventricular arrhythmias. The COMPASS trial has shown that remote monitoring reduces hospitalisations for atrial arrhythmias by 66% thanks to the early initiation of anticoagulant treatment. In the same way, the detection of ventricular arrhythmias makes it possible to optimise the patient’s treatments as well as program the patient’s defibrillator, or even to offer ablation of this ventricular tachycardia.
Remote monitoring is therefore a real opportunity for both cardiologists and patients. Ultimately, we can hope that advancement in medical practice will make it an alternative to traditional pacemaker monitoring. We are undoubtedly witnessing the birth of the medicine of tomorrow.