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Published on November 06, 2009

Overlake Physician First in Seattle area to Implant New Wireless Pacemaker

Bellevue, WA (November 6, 2009) A physician at Overlake Hospital Medical Center is the first in the Seattle area to implant a new pacemaker equipped with wireless technology that notifies physicians of changes in their patients’ device or condition. The latest technology was developed by St. Jude Medical to improve patient care and make device follow-up more efficient and convenient for both patients and physicians. The Accent™ RF pacemaker is the first pacemaker with automatic test results and complete diagnostics that are accessed via wireless communication in a clinic or from the patient’s home.

Derek Rodrigues, MD, an Overlake-affiliated cardiologist with Eastside Cardiology Associates, implanted the new pacemaker to monitor the patient’s heart and provide electronic stimulation when the heart beats too slowly.

With the new pacemaker in place, Dr. Rodrigues is able to monitor his patient’s device remotely. On scheduled check-up dates and times, data from the pacemaker is wirelessly sent to the physician – in a hands-free manner, with no patient interaction required, typically while the patient sleeps – and becomes available to the physician for viewing via the Merlin.net® Patient Care Network.

In addition to regular device follow-up appointments, the wireless communication also enables the pacemaker to automatically alert physicians to important changes with the device or the patient’s heart rhythm in between scheduled device checks.

The device also helps physicians compile a more complete patient record, by easily transferring cardiac device data into electronic health records. This allows the physician to view all patient information side-by-side in a secure, easy-to-access location.

Cardiac pacemakers are used to treat bradycardia, which is a heart rate that is too slow. These devices monitor the heart and provide electrical stimulation when the heart beats too slowly for each patient’s specific physiological requirements.