The implantable medical devices are getting smarter and the FDA has approved the new functionality. In recent posts I have mentioned the work being done with Microsoft HealthVault with several devices including implants from St. Jude, so it appears soon that your implanted device will be able to talk to the HealthVault and enter information into your personal health records.
In addition, the information can go into an EHR system as well. Last week I posted about eClinical works and their connections to the HealthVault, so this is coming full circle with the information being sent to a doctor, to the PHR and in a format where the information can be quickly digested and analyzed. For physicians this could mean an early warning of a stroke with a patient.
Again, this is all a personal decision as well as to how connected you may want to be, but the formats and software programs are there and this is no longer a Sci-Fi dream or vision, it’s here. BD
From the website, information for physicians
Direct Connections to Electronic Health Records
- Use Merlin.net PCN to centralize device data from remote follow-ups, in-clinic and post-implant programmer sessions
- Export all patient device data from Merlin.net PCN directly into your EHR
- Connect to the first cardiac rhythm management company to pass EHR standard guidelines set forth by IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise)
Direct Connections to Your Patients
- Access your patients' device information anytime, anywhere
- Enable patients to transmit from the comfort of their homes or while they are traveling
- Allow transmitters to be placed in remote clinics, nursing homes, and emergency rooms
- Reduce the number of office visits, providing greater convenience and flexibility for your patients
Direct Impact on Your Productivity
- Experience first-hand the Merlin.net PCN easy-to-use interface
- View easy-to-read reports
- Save time by selecting up to 50 patient records at a time to view, print, export and archive
- Archive data stored on Merlin.net PCN for a minimum of seven years
St. Jude today announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the newest version of the Merlin.net(TM) Patient Care Network (PCN), a secure, Internet-based remote care system for patients with implanted medical devices. This remote care system gathers and stores data from the implant procedure, in clinic follow-up visits or from both patient-initiated and automatic remote follow-up and monitoring transmissions. The updated Merlin.net PCN Version 3.1 expands on features designed to improve clinic efficiency and enhance patient care by giving physicians better and more immediate access to information to help them manage their patients' devices. With its open architecture and standards-based interface, Merlin.net PCN is also fully integratable with all standard electronic health record (EHR) systems.
The latest version of Merlin.net PCN adds new options to its DirectAlerts(R) Notification feature, which can be used to alert a physician - including an on-call physician outside normal business hours - to changes in the device or the patient's disease state. The DirectAlerts Notification feature allows the physician to monitor patients for changes in certain diagnostic criteria between scheduled follow-ups, which would trigger the device to automatically store the data, send it to Merlin.net PCN and notify the physician that the data is available to review. The range of possible triggers now includes episodes of atrial fibrillation (AF), a serious condition characterized by rapid, ineffective contractions of the upper chambers of the heart that, if unmanaged, can increase the risk of stroke.