Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) is the first facility in the Twin Cities to implant a new miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor to manage heart failure (HF).
The CardioMEMS HF System is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has been proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when used by physicians in conjunction with standard treatments to manage heart failure.
Heart failure has many causes, but always involves either an inability of the heart to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands, or of an inability of the heart to pump blood adequately without an excessive rise in intracardiac pressure. In either case, patients develop severe shortness of breath and accumulate fluid in their lungs and other body tissues when the condition progresses or becomes unstable. 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. Patients with heart failure are frequently hospitalized, have a reduced quality of life and face a higher risk of death.
The CardioMEMS HF System features a tiny sensor that is permanently implanted in the pulmonary artery (PA) during a non-surgical procedure to directly measure PA pressure. Increased PA pressures appear before weight and blood pressure changes, which are often used as indirect measures of worsening heart failure. The CardioMEMS sensor is designed to last the lifetime of the patient and doesn’t require batteries.
Once implanted, the wireless sensor sends pressure readings to an external patient electronic system. There is no pain or sensation for the patient during the readings. The CardioMEMS HF System allows the patients to transmit critical information about their heart failure status to their medical team on a regular basis, without the need for additional clinic or hospital visits. This provides clinicians with the ability to detect worsening heart failure before symptoms worsen and adjust treatment to reduce the likelihood that the patient will need to be hospitalized. In the pivotal study of this device (CHAMPION), active management based on the sensor readings reduced hospitalizations by nearly 37% over 15 months in patients with moderately severe HF who had been admitted to the hospital at least once in the preceding year.
Roughly 1.4 million patients in the U.S. have HF comparable in severity to those in the CHAMPION trial. Historically these patients account for nearly half of all heart failure hospitalizations. According to the American Heart Association, the estimated direct and indirect cost of heart failure in the U.S. for 2012 was $31 billion, much of it for hospitalizations, and that number is expected to more than double by 2030. Any treatment or monitoring strategy which can reduce the burden of hospitalizations could have a significant impact on health care costs.
“Heart failure causes enormous suffering and is responsible for tens of billions of dollars in health care costs,” explains HCMC cardiologist Dr. Steven Goldsmith, who is the Director of both the Heart Failure program at HCMC and the Minnesota Heart Failure Consortium. Dr. Goldsmith and his colleagues at HCMC and the University of Minnesota participated in the CHAMPION trial.
“Having a new tool to manage heart failure on an individual basis which prevents patients from developing severe shortness of breath and the need for hospitalization is very exciting, as it promises improved quality of life and as well potentially huge savings to the medical care system. We are delighted to be among the first centers nationally and the first in the Twin Cities to be able to now offer this technology to qualifying patients.”
The Hennepin Heart Center at Hennepin County Medical Center has a long tradition of delivering innovative, patient-centered, high-quality cardiovascular care. Using the latest interventions, cardiac specialists provide expertise in the care of patients with coronary disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease and arrhythmias. Visit www.hcmc.org for more information about Hennepin Heart Center.
The CardioMEMS HF System, from global medical device manufacturer St. Jude Medical, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for commercial use in the U.S. For more information, visit http://www.heartfailureanswers.com/.