Remote Monitoring Associated With Increased Survival Outcomes in Pacemaker Patients

Remote monitoring can improve survival outcomes in patients with pacemakers, according to a study released as part of Heart Rhythm 2014. In addition, survival rates are even greater in patients with the highest engagement in remote monitoring regardless of device type.

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The study was based on more than 260,000 patients with a St. Jude Medical pacemaker (112,692 patients), cardiac resynchronization pacemaker (CRT-P) (7,704 patients), implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) (82,621 patients) or cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-D) (59,547 patients) device who were enrolled in remote monitoring surveillance. Data on remote monitoring service use was collected on a weekly basis and evaluated to determine the rate of engagement among patients. Survival rates were prospectively compared for each device type among patients with high, low or no use of remote monitoring services.

Overall results found that patients enrolled in remote monitoring had significantly greater survival rates than patients who were not enrolled. In addition, patients with high levels of engagement levels to remote monitoring had improved survival rates compared to patients with low levels of engagement or none at all. The study investigators also noted a wide geographic variability in the degree of remote monitoring use nationally.

While previous studies have shown remote monitoring to be associated with reduced mortality in patients with ICDs and CRT-Ds, it has been unknown whether this relationship applies to pacemaker patients. "The scope of our study and resounding results shows, for the first time, how valuable remote monitoring can be for pacemaker patients. It is imperative that clinicians inform patients about the benefits and accessibility of remote monitoring technology," said lead author Suneet Mittal, MD, FHRS, director of Electrophysiology Laboratory at The Valley Hospital Heart & Vascular Institute.

Moving forward the study investigators suggest further research into the reasons behind this positive association, as they may have important implications for individual patient care and best practices. They also note that future studies and research should be initiated to help increase remote monitoring participation rates and raise awareness about the remote monitoring benefits.

Clinical Topics: Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Implantable Devices, SCD/Ventricular Arrhythmias

Keywords: Patient Care, Survival Rate, Electrophysiological Phenomena, Pacemaker, Artificial, Awareness, Defibrillators, Implantable, Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy

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