Implantable medical device specialist St Jude Medical has launched, a secure, Internet-based remote care system for patients with implanted medical devices in Europe.

The latest version of the Patient Care Network (PCN) gathers and stores data from the implant procedure, in-clinic follow-up visits and from subsequent remote transmissions sent from a patient’s home.

Remote transmissions can include both patient-initiated and automatic follow-ups and monitoring transmissions sent via a Merlin@home remote transmitter.

The remote monitoring capabilities of these devices, facilitated by the PCN, permit automated hands-free follow-up, and daily device safety checks with no patient interaction required.

As well as giving physicians more timely access to important patient and device data, the wireless monitoring system also allows physicians to compile a more complete patient record by easily transferring cardiac device data into electronic health record systems.

"Remote monitoring of ICDs has been an important development in the management of patients. Systems like the PCN allow us to monitor patients` cardiac conditions more closely, and our patients and our staff find remote monitoring convenient and time-saving," said Dr Chris Plummer, Consultant Cardiologist at Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, UK.

Dr Plummer added: "Being able to wirelessly download data from a St. Jude Medical Accent RF pacemaker confirms the optimal performance of both the pacemaker and the PCN. We look forward to extending the advantages of remote monitoring to more of our pacemaker patients."

According to St Jude Medical the latest version of PCN, supports all radio-frequency (RF) St. Jude Medical implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), non-RF Epic ICDs, Atlas ICDs, Current ICDs and Promote CRT-D devices.

The latest version also supports the Accent RF pacemaker and Anthem RF CRT-P (cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemaker). The Accent RF and Anthem RF product families use radio frequency (RF) telemetry that enables secure, wireless communication between the implanted device and the device programmer or Merlin@home transmitter.

The updated Version 4.0 PCN also features the DirectTrend Viewer reporting capability, which can be used to enhance visibility into patient trends to simplify patient management and enhance clinical insight. The DirectTrend Viewer reporting feature allows physicians to track data over time related to clinical events, alerts, and recent transmissions.

"Our focus with this next-generation system continues to be on giving physicians timely, actionable data, and improving disease management," said Eric Fain, MD, president of the St. Jude Medical cardiac rhythm management division.

"Adding the DirectTrend Viewer Reporting feature helps improve the speed at which physicians receive and can interpret information, so they can effectively manage their patients’ conditions."