11 July 2023
The first telemetric ICD was implanted in Hungary in 2003, at the UP Heart Institute in Pécs. Twenty years later, another innovation starts serving patient care: the first pacemaker and ICD remote ambulance of the country, established in collaboration of the UP Heart Institute, the Department of Emergency Medicine and Medtronic Hungária Kft.
An ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) is a special pacemaker that is not only capable of dealing with slow heart rate, but can also stop life-threatening, high rate heart palpitations. Similarly to a pacemaker, it is made up of a generator and the connecting electrodes. The subdermal generator is larger than a traditional pacemaker and the electrodes are also more complex in their structure.
“Remote monitoring patients with pacemakers and ICD-s has a long history at the clinic in Pécs, and we are now able to monitor almost 700 patients within a tele-ambulance framework. We are able to analyse the settings of devices, the status of the generator, we have automatic measurement data available, and we can also see possible palpitations as well” – said dr. Gábor Vilmányi resident doctor, member of the pacemaker workgroup.
As he explained, the innovation of the system installed at the UP Department of Emergency Medicine is that every pacemaker and ICD device of the manufacturer can be monitored remotely, helping emergency workers without having to move patients. Patients who do not have their own remote monitor device can also use the service. The main advantage of the system is that the examination does not require any sort of special training, it is fully automated – this way, even those who do not deal with pacemaker or ICD therapy can get useful information.
The unique remote monitoring system of Medtronic could be a huge help in registering palpitations causing unknown malaise and loss of consciousness; it could also be used in excluding device malfunctions. Using the device, doctors could reach a diagnosis faster, shortening waiting times and improving patient satisfaction – and most importantly, potentially life-threatening situations could be avoided.
Based on positive experiences during the trial period, the expansion of the remote ambulance network is also in the plans.
“We are proud that we are able to show something new in telemedicine after implementing VDD-pacemakers, telemetric ICD-s and the most innovative re-synchronisation treatment (LOT-CRT). We hope that we can continue to improve the safety and satisfaction of our patients as one of the largest pacemaker and ICD centrum in Hungary” – added dr. Gábor Vilmányi.