American College of Cardiology annual meeting: Electronic "eye" aids heart failure

American College of Cardiology annual meeting,March 6–9, Orlando

Electronic "eye" aids heart failure

A device that continually monitors blood pressure inside the heart may help people with heart failure better control their condition and stay out of the hospital.

The Chronicle monitoring system, made by Medtronic, is about the size of a deck of cards. It is implanted in the upper chest much like a pacemaker. Its single wire constantly measures pressure inside the heart and stores the readings. Every so often, this information is sent by telephone to a secure Web site. A doctor can use this information to make treatment decisions.

In the COMPASS-HF trial, 274 men and women with heart failure had a Chronicle device implanted. Doctors used data from the device to fine-tune drug therapy in half the volunteers, but were blocked from seeing it for the other half (who made up the control group).

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