Abbott (ABT -3.14% ) received European approval for its new Gallant Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) and Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Defibrillator (CRT-D) for patients with abnormal heart rhythms and heart failure. In addition to all the normal functions of a defibrillator, which returns a patient’s heart to a normal rhythm if it begins to beat erratically, the new devices can connect to Abbott’s myMerlinPulse mobile app via Bluetooth to give doctors and patients more information about what is happening with the device.
Device data is sent directly to the patient’s physician, but the patient can also view transmission history and device performance. Patients can also trigger transmissions to their doctors if they sense something is wrong. The app can even prompt patients to schedule their next appointments. On the physician side, automated transmissions can help physicians identify asymptomatic episodes, which can lead to earlier intervention and potentially better patient outcomes.
“The positive impact of remote monitoring has been repeatedly proven and leads to better patient outcomes and reduced burden on the healthcare system,” said Avi Fischer, Chief Medical Officer of the Abbott’s heart rhythm management business in a statement.
Connectivity comes with risks from hackers and malware, but Abbott has built-in cybersecurity controls. Devices also have the ability to be upgraded to meet evolving digital threats.
In addition to their remote monitoring capabilities, Gallant devices have all the bells and whistles of its previous defibrillator models, including the ability to program the ICD to a patient’s specific needs and MultiPoint Pacing and Abbott’s SyncAV in CRT-D, which increase the likelihood that patients will respond to CRT treatment.
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