News | January 21, 2008

Wireless Remote ECG Monitoring System Implanted in U.S. Patients

January 22, 2008 - Patients in the Columbus, OH, area are among the first in the U.S. to have been implanted with the Sleuth ECG Monitoring System, a wireless, implantable system for long-term monitoring of ECG (electrocardiogram) data for diagnosing cardiac arrhythmias behind unexplained fainting.

Patients who suffer from unexplained syncope, the medical term for fainting, now have a new option for obtaining accurate, timely diagnostic data to assist with the evaluation of cardiac arrhythmias and other serious conditions which may be causing the problem. Sleuth implantation procedures have been performed by Dr. Emile Daoud and Dr. John Hummel, both at The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus. Transoma Medical manufactures the Sleuth system, which received FDA marketing clearance in October 2007.

“Patients who experience unexplained syncope are often forced to make significant life adjustments with their careers, families and driving because episodes are unpredictable and infrequent,” said Dr. Daoud. “Since arrhythmias are often the underlying cause of syncope, it’s important to have advanced but simple and reliable tools to facilitate an accurate and prompt diagnosis. The Sleuth implantable recorder and the wireless communication system provide excellent recording fidelity and ease of transmission of ECG data that is continuously monitored and stored. Also, I can select the arrhythmia detection parameters, and the telemetry tracings are promptly sent in a user-friendly report, making it easy for me and my staff to care for our patients.”

The risk of syncope increases with age and is becoming more common as the population ages. In the United States, syncope accounts for 3 percent of emergency room visits and 6 percent of hospital admissions. Syncope can be caused by a variety of conditions, including metabolic disorders, neurological conditions, emotional distress or cardiovascular conditions. However, for approximately one-third of all patients who faint, a cause cannot be identified with standard testing.

Syncope caused by a cardiovascular condition can be especially challenging to diagnose because abnormal heart activity may be infrequent or not apparent to the patient. Conditions causing cardiovascular syncope include heart attack, heart failure, rhythm disturbances, obstructed blood flow and low blood pressure. With unexplained syncope, many patients need to modify their daily activities significantly, e.g., stop driving or give up a job, impacting quality of life. For additional information regarding syncope, please visit the following Web site:

The Sleuth system is a thin medical device about the size of a 50-cent piece (or the size of the smallest pacemakers) that is placed under the skin near the shoulder. The device continuously gathers ECG data, and then automatically and regularly forwards it to a monitoring center operated by Mednet Healthcare Technologies Inc. Certified cardiac technicians triage the data and send reports of relevant cardiac event data to the physician.

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