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St. Jude's Wi-Fi* Pacemaker Wins Approval

by Lynn Shapiro, Writer | August 12, 2009

"Rather than checking the device a few times a year, the daily alerts allow me to know about important changes in my patient's condition or device functions so I can act more quickly in addressing any issues," Dr. Greenberg says.

The St. Jude Medical Ventricular Intrinsic Preference (VIP) algorithm allows the device to monitor the heart beat-by-beat and provide pacing only when necessary. Allowing the patient's natural heart rhythm to work on its own when possible has been shown to benefit overall heart health.

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With the combination of advanced features and efficiencies provided by the company's consolidated Unity device platform, the Accent RF pacemaker and Anthem RF CRT-P offer significantly improved battery longevity and a seven-year warranty.

Alert notification delivery times can be customized to fit in with physician determined clinic hours, including any after-hours processes the clinic might provide. Version 4.0 of Merlin.net PCN provides an additional feature called DirectTrend(tm) Viewer, which graphically displays patient trends and disease progression. This allows physicians to more effectively manage patients through interactive views of patient data over time, the company says.

Source: St. Jude Medical

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*Ed note: A clinical engineer has taken issue with our loose use of the term "WiFi." See his comments below and please add your own view on this topic.

You need to clarify your terms, the use of the term Wi-Fi is incorrect.

Pacemakers and ICDs use RF (radiofrequency) telemetry communications in
a frequency band that is regulated by the FDA and FCC. Previously, the programmer telemetry head had to be directly over the device. With the new RF remote telemetry features, the communication can be made within a short distance (i.e same or next room). Previously, it was only available in ICDs. The only thing new about St. Jude's approval is that it is the first pacemaker in the industry to have the RF remote telemetry technology. RF remote telemetry and remote monitoring is not new to this industry. Remote monitoring has been around a number of years in both pacemakers and ICDs. The RF remote telemetry has only been around in ICDs for only a few years.

The term wi-fi, on the other hand, refers to the 803.11x (A, B, G, or N) that is used for wireless communications between computers, networks, and other auxillary hardware.

--Richard Clark, Clinical Engineer

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