Philips launches 24/7 pacemaker monitoring

Royal Philips Electronics has announced a new service that provides Web-based remote monitoring follow-up services for patients with pacemakers. The new service, which was made available to cardiology practices in beta in August, is the first large-scale service of its kind in the United States.

Pacemakers are a critical part of treatment for patients with a wide range of heart conditions, and they must be checked frequently to ensure proper function. Philips has offered transtelephonic – data transmission via phone – follow-up services for 35 years.

Leveraging this experience, Philips is expanding its portfolio to include the latest pacemaker technology. Remote monitoring is becoming standard for surveillance of patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices; scientific data has demonstrated remote monitoring allows earlier detection of patient issues than standard in-clinic follow up.

Philips brings unprecedented convenience and patient care quality to cardiology practices by conducting Web-based remote monitoring of their pacemaker patients, according to Phillips executives. Philips technicians review, summarize and triage each pacemaker test and provide clinically appropriate, customized notification to support timely and informed patient management for the physicians.

"With the Philips web-based remote monitoring service, we can do more with less," said Syed Samee, MD, cardiologist at Blessing Physician Services in Quincy, Ill. "We get more frequent clinical information without using staff resources, allowing our staff to re-focus their time on other billable services. And  the service has helped us improve our billing processes. Patients like it, too, because they don't have to make as many office visits."

The team of Philips certified cardiographic technicians undergo intensive training and average more than 15 years of experience in pacemaker and implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) follow-up. The technicians analyze and interpret more than 1,000 pacemaker transmissions per day, which enables them to spot even subtle abnormalities. This analysis resulted in a .009 percent error rate over the past 12 months. And with 24/7 surveillance, cardiologists are alerted to critical patient data in real-time, without having to be on-call.

"Our goal at Philips Healthcare is to offer products and services that simplify healthcare and improve patient outcomes," said Paul Bromberg, general manager, Philips Remote Patient Monitoring. "With the new service, Philips offers that and more. Web-based remote pacemaker monitoring helps cardiology practices to streamline workflow, improve patient compliance, and enhance practice economics."