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Implanted Heart Attack Detector Saves Lives, Wirelessly

Even if someone has a heart attack, it routinely takes three hours before the symptoms become manifest. And that’s precisely the problem–Every hour that ER treatment is delayed raises the chance of death by a percentage point, so improving patient outcomes means getting the earliest possible warning.

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AngelMed heart device

Even if someone has a heart attack, it routinely takes three hours before the symptoms become manifest. And that’s precisely the problem–Every hour that ER treatment is delayed raises the chance of death by a percentage point, so improving patient outcomes means getting the earliest possible warning. Which is where a new wireless heart monitor by AngelMed fits in. The device comprises a wireless monitor, much like a pacemaker or an EKG, which has leads attached to a patient’s heart. When a heart-attack has been detected using tell-tale electrical signals, it buzzes, letting the wearer know to get to a hospital ASAP. Once there, the device can transmit its data to a monitoring station, providing an immediate EKG for doctors, showing what occurred during the exact moment of attack.  

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Currently, the device is available in Brazil, and is being tested in small-scale trials in the U.S. Next up this year is a larger trial, which has already begun enrollment, with 600 to 800 patients. The device probably won’t be a panacea, but it does offer improved odds to two types of heart attack patient: Those that have heart attacks but don’t feel them, and those that frequently feel chest pain, and routinely end up in ER’s due to false positives.

Guardian System

Related: The Year’s Best-designed Medical Devices

[Via MIT Technology Review]

About the author

Cliff was director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.

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