New Technology Improving Outcomes for Heart Failure Patients

(StatePoint) Heart failure is costing Americans a fortune. The estimated cost of the disease in the U.S. was $31 billion in 2012. That number is estimated to swell to $70 billion by 2030, according to the American Heart Association — which means that by 2020, every U.S. taxpayer could pay $244 each year for heart failure expenses.

Heart failure is not only a financial burden, but the condition reduces the quality of life for patients and can increase their risk of serious and sometimes fatal medical emergencies.

Counter to these sobering facts are the results of a recent study, which found that a new medical technology can successfully reduce heart failure hospital admissions when managed by a physician, and improve the quality of life among patients experiencing limitations of physical activity due to their cardiac disease.

This new technology, called the CardioMEMS HF System, directly measures pulmonary artery pressure. Data shows this is a much more effective measure than the indirect markers patients have traditionally used to monitor heart failure at home, such as taking and tracking their own blood pressure or weight on a home scale.

Using a miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor implanted in the pulmonary artery during a minimally invasive procedure, the CardioMEMS HF system directly measures pulmonary artery pressure and transmits the data from a patient’s home to his or her health care provider. These measurements then allow for real-time, personalized and proactive management to reduce the likelihood of hospitalization.

“Since heart failure is a chronic disease, most days are spent outside the hospital,” says William Abraham, MD, chief of cardiovascular medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and primary investigator for a clinical study investigating the technology’s efficacy.  “Accurately monitoring heart failure from home gives physicians the information they need to significantly improve a patient’s heart failure treatment.”

Results from the CHAMPION clinical trial found that those managed with pulmonary artery pressure monitoring showed a significant reduction in 30-day hospital readmission rates for patients age 65 and older, as well as a significant improvement in quality of life as measured by the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire.

Potential adverse events associated with the implantation procedure include, but are not limited to infection, arrhythmias, bleeding, hematoma, thrombus, myocardial infarction, transient ischemic attack, stroke, death, and device embolization.

Thanks to treatment advances and technological breakthroughs, heart failure patients are living longer and enjoying an improved quality of life.

To learn more about this technology and for heart failure information resources, visit www.heartfailureanswers.com.