Remote monitoring of cardiac devices like pacemakers and defibrillators is becoming increasingly popular, with a growing body of data showing that it is effective and may actually impact clinically important outcomes. In general, these systems work using a hub that reads data off the device when the patient is nearby and then transmits it via a cellular link or landline.
The MyCarelink Heart app works with a small Smart Reader device to let patients collect data from their implanted device from anywhere and send it to their doctors for review. Basically, the Smart Reader reads information on battery life, lead integrity, and detected cardiac events. The Smart Reader syncs up with their smartphone through the MyCareLink Heart app. The device data is then transmitted to Medtronic’s CareLink platform through the smartphone.
The app doesn’t yet let patients review any of the device data, probably because it would be a much more complicated endeavor to deliver both the data and an interpretation within the app. But it certainly opens the door for that type of functionality down the road as well as potentially being able to integrate device data more readily with the wealth of health data being captured by mobile devices.