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First smartphone-enabled cardiac monitor implanted

Dr Atul VermaNEWMARKET, Ont – Southlake Regional Health Centre is the first hospital in North America to implant the Abbott smartphone compatible Confirm Rx Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM) – a device that helps patients like Olga Pereira manage her heart rhythm and chest pain symptoms.

Olga was experiencing ongoing chest pains, numbness in her left arm, fatigue and rapid heartbeat, along with other symptoms of palpitations. She also has a family history of strokes and heart attacks. On August 29, 2017, Olga was admitted to Southlake to have the first smartphone-enabled insertable cardiac monitor implanted by Dr. Atul Verma (pictured).

“With this technology, I have the power to manage my own health through the immediate ability to record any symptoms on my phone through this app,” said Olga. “It is an honour to have been the first candidate to receive this and have this procedure done by Dr. Verma at Southlake, the drive from Toronto was worth it.”

Traditionally, remote monitoring relies on bulky handheld or bedside transmitters. The new interactive app empowers patients, like Olga, to participate in their own care. The app transmits information directly to the heart rhythm team for real-time monitoring.

“Heart rhythm problems are electrical problems of the heart which may be independent of clogging of the arteries, and can be associated with uncomfortable symptoms, risk of stroke, or heart failure,” said Dr. Atul Verma, director, Heart Rhythm Program, Southlake Regional Health Centre.

“Remote monitoring is an important diagnostic tool for patients with suspected arrhythmias, and this innovative new smartphone-enabled remote monitoring now enables the patient to see and record any symptomatic events as they happen and have their data automatically transmitted to their clinic in a discreet and easy manner.”

About Southlake Regional Health Centre
Southlake Regional Health Centre is a full-service hospital with a regional, clinically advanced focus. As a regionally designated site, Southlake is responsible for developing and providing advanced levels of care to the more than 1 million people who reside in York Region, Simcoe County, and as far north as Muskoka. Advanced, specialty services include: arthritis care, cancer care, cardiac care, cataract surgery, child and adolescent eating disorders, mental health services for children, paediatrics and perinatal care, and thoracic surgery. Southlake is proud to have a team of over 3,000 employees, 580 physicians, and more than 900 volunteers. Combined with our commitment to provide the best possible care to patients, our goal is to make Southlake synonymous with healthcare excellence.

About Abbott
The Confirm Rx ICM is the world’s first smartphone-compatible ICM that will help physicians identify even the most difficult to detect cardiac arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation (AF), in order to help guide therapy. The Confirm Rx ICM is designed to continuously monitor a patient’s heart rhythm and proactively transmit information via the myMerlin mobile app from a patient’s smartphone, allowing physicians to follow their patients remotely and accurately diagnose arrhythmias that may require further treatment. The myMerlin mobile app, available in over 35 languages, makes it easy for patients to stay connected to their physicians. Patients can record their symptoms on their own smartphone and specify events such as fainting or if they experience a fast heart rate. Patients can also confirm their data was transmitted to their physician and get automatic alerts when they have missed a scheduled transmission, saving the clinic from having to follow up with the patient.

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