Man gets wireless heart monitor
07 February 2014 09:31
Heartwarming: a retired man has become one of the first British patients to have a mini wireless heart monitor implanted
Doctors can now remotely monitor a Sussex man's heart condition around the clock, thanks to a tiny wireless implant.
Retired locksmith David Baldock, 68, is among the first British patients to have a hairpin-sized mini wireless heart monitor implanted.
He said it was less stressful than a visit to the dentist.
Mr Baldock, from Uckfield, had the injectable Medtronic Reveal LINQ gadget put into his chest at the Eastbourne District General Hospital in East Sussex.
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Mr Baldock's procedure took between two and five minutes using local anaesthetic, forgoing the need for an entire operation.
Doctors said such monitors injected near the heart will mainly be used to help identify why a patient is suffering blackouts or an irregular heartbeat.
The mini-monitor, employing WiFi technology, informs doctors what their patient's heart is doing - resulting in quicker, more precise diagnoses, specialists claim.
Cardiologists would have normally implanted a USB stick-sized loop recorder into a patient's chest to monitor their heart rate.
If the patient suffered a blackout, they would then use a separate device to freeze the recording which could then be analysed by a hospital consultant.
The latest monitor reportedly offers the same benefits, but is a tenth of the size.
This makes it more comfortable and less noticeable under the skin.
The monitor communicates wirelessly to a receiver in the patient's home which, when the patient is close, instantly transmits any irregular heart activity through a wireless 3G signal.
This is then transported to a secure system that can be accessed immediately by heart specialists at the patient's hospital, who can call them if problems are found.
Mr Baldock said: "It was less stressful than going to the dentist. All I felt was quite a bit of pressure as they inserted the device in my chest."
He said he feels reassured that doctors can view his heartbeat 24 hours a day if there are irregularities.