- Medtronic, whose founder invented some of the earliest pacemakers, said it has launched a mobile app that for the first time enables a portfolio of pacemakers to communicate directly with patients' smartphones and tablets.
- The MyCareLink Heart mobile app is compatible with the company's BlueSync technology-enabled pacemakers and eliminates the need for other remote monitoring hardware.
- Medtronic devices compatible with the BlueSync technology include the Azure pacemaker and Percepta, Serena and Solara quadripolar cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemakers (CRT-Ps).
A pacemaker is a small device implanted in the chest or abdomen to treat patients whose hearts are beating too slowly or irregularly. A pacemaker stimulates the heart muscle with electricity pulses that restore the heart's rhythm to a normal rate.
There are about 3 million people worldwide with pacemakers, and about 600,000 people get pacemakers implanted each year, according to the American Heart Association.
Medtronic co-founder Earl Bakken developed the first external, wearable battery-powered heart pacemaker in the late 1950s, and commercialized the first implantable pacemaker in 1960. Now, the world’s largest medical device maker is rolling out the first line of pacemakers that can communicate directly with patients' smartphones and tablets.
Data collected by the devices is encrypted and sent to the CareLink network through the MyCareLink Heart mobile app, which can provide alerts to physicians on patients' heart activity.
The app also makes pacemaker data including transmission history, battery information, updates on physical activity and vitals tracking, and educational information available to the patients. Medtronic also said the mobile app includes high-level security design to protect the device and data transmissions.
Medtronic's pacemaker products continue to be a strong performer in its leading cardiac and vascular group, which generated $11.4 billion in revenue during fiscal year 2018.
In the company's recent presentation at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, CEO Omar Ishrak indicated Medtronic would launch its Micra AV pacemaker during fiscal year 2020, an updated iteration of its leadless pacemaker product currently on the market.