Another first out of Providence Heart and Vascular Institute: An implant that allows doctors to monitor heart remotely

February 04, 2015
The patient’s at home, but the cardiologist can still check in, thanks to an innovative, first-of-its-kind heart monitoring technology now available at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. Cardiologists with Providence Heart and Vascular Institute recently became the first experts in the Northwest to implant CardioMEMS HF System, a tiny wireless heart monitoring sensor, into patients. 

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 5.1 million Americans have heart failure, with 670,000 new cases diagnosed each year. 

The CardioMEMS HF System, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is the first and only heart failure monitoring device that has been proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when used by physicians to manage heart failure. It features a sensor that is implanted in the pulmonary artery during a non-surgical procedure to directly measure that artery’s pressure. Increased pressure in the pulmonary artery can be a sign of worsening heart failure. CardioMEMS transmits daily readings from the patient’s home to their health care provider. It is designed to last the lifetime of the patient and doesn’t require batteries. 

“We are excited to be able to offer this innovative technology to our heart failure patients,” said Jacob Abraham, M.D., cardiologist and medical director of Providence Heart and Vascular Institute’s Center for Advanced Heart Disease. “We are confident CardioMEMS will allow us to more effectively monitor our patient’s heart failure, making adjustments to their treatment and reducing the likelihood that the patient will need to be hospitalized.” 

Data from a clinical trial showed that the CardioMEMS technology reduces heart failure hospital admissions by up to 37 percent. According to the American Heart Association, the estimated direct and indirect cost of heart failure in the U.S. for 2012 was $31 billion and that number is expected to more than double by 2030. 

“Technology is quickly changing the way we are able to treat our patients,” said Dan Oseran, medical director Providence Heart and Vascular Institute. “Providence Health and Vascular Institute is committed to being a leader as this new technology is made available because it not only improves the quality of patient care – it can also reduce health care costs.” 

In the past twelve months, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute has brought first-of-its-kind technology to patients in Oregon with: 

  • MICRA, the world’s first leadless pacemaker. 
  • S-ICD, an implantable, wireless defibrillator. 
  • Lutonix drug coated balloon catheter as a minimally invasive treatment for peripheral artery disease. 
  • Providence St. Vincent is the only hospital in Oregon, and one of the few in the nation,where interventional cardiologists can perform a percutaneous transcatheter mitral valve repair using the MitraClip system. 
  •  Providence Heart and Vascular Institute was the first in Oregon to take part in the ABSORB III clinical trial testing a new medical device for the heart that functions like a stent but dissolves over time. 

The CardioMEMS HF System, from global medical device manufacturer St. Jude Medical, is approved by the FDA for commercial use in the U.S.

Heart failure patients wishing to learn more about CardioMEMS may contact Providence Heart and Vascular Institute’s Center for Advanced Heart Disease by calling 503-216-0900.