The Merlin.net network is a remote monitoring system for patients with implantable cardiac devices. It is able to record a patient’s heart rhythms, device therapy and device performance which is automatically sent to a designated clinic or a hospital’s health record.

Created by St. Jude Medical, which is a manuafaturer of medical devices worldwide, the Merlin.net Patient Care Network (PCN)  has been upgraded to version 5.0 which comes with some important enhancements for those living in the UK.

Headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, St. Jude Medical has four major focus areas that include: cardiac rhythm management, atrial fibrillation, cardiovascular and neuromodulation. The Merlin.net network is an example of how St. Jude Medical adheres to its overall objectives.

One of the newest features of version 5.0 is the ability to create a connection from the Merlin.net PCN directly to the clinic or hospital’s electronic health record (EHR) system.  Called Auto EHRDirect Export, this new feature allows for automatically recording of relevant patient information and uses secure industry standards for the tranfer of the data. This means that the data is fully encrypted and thus cannot be viewed by unauthorized people.

While physicians are able to access patient information from the secure Merlin.net website, version 5.0, integrates a new feature called Mobile DirectAlerts which allows alerts to be sent  automatically to a physician’s mobile device when a patient has an alert-triggering event. This increases the speed at which a physician can access patient information even when the physician is out of the office. This allows for a faster response time to potential clinical issues.

Additionally, with the new Mobile DirectAlert feature, it is no longer necessary for a doctor to login to a computer to find and access patient records following an alert since the information can be accessed via a secure connection and a smartphone. The notifications are compatible with multiple mobile devices, including the iOS devices, Android phones as well as Blackberry.  No word on whether Windows Phones are supported.

Dr. Francis D Murgatroyd, Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at King’s College Hospital in London concurs.

“This mobile device technology allows physicians like me to access relevant patient information in a quick, timely and secure manner. This can include contact details, alert triggers and electrocardiograms. This is a great example of how innovative thinking combined with existing telecommunications technology can help the physician stay close to the patient when this is most needed.”

Telehealth and remote monitoring technologies have the potential to improve the lives of many. It can reduce the amount of time patients have to physically see a doctor, reduce the number of emergency hospital admissions and even shorten the amount of days a patient has to stay in a hospital. Because of this, the upgraded Merlin.net network has the potential to impact many lives.

Paul Turner, vice president of UK, Ireland, Canada Middle East and South Africa for St. Jude Medical explains,

“We designed the Merlin.net PCN updates to make patient and device data as accessible and convenient as possible for physicians managing patients with complex cardiac conditions such as heart failure. Findings in the recent DH study indicate that more than three million people in the UK can benefit from telehealth. We are very pleased to play our part in offering our own remote care solution, and delivering our patient-benefitting technologies throughout the UK.”

Source: Press Release