New Medical Device Warns Patients Of Impending Heart Attack
Researchers have developed a new implantable medical device that alerts people when a heart attack is ‘around the corner’ . The device, created by Mary Carol Day and Christopher Young, is under clinical trials and uses both acoustic, vibration and visual signals to alert people regarding a possible heart attack. Currently, there are many implantable medical devices, such as left ventricular assist like device (LVAD), pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD s). Pacemakers and ICDs are used to treat arrhythmias, which means abnormal beats of heart. LVAD improves heart pump function.
Creating a device that alerts people about a heart attack patients may save lives. Even though most people know the symptoms of a myocardial infarction ( constrictive chest pain that does not respond to nitroglycerin, radiation possible in the left shoulder, back or jaw, sweating, anxiety), however many patients arrive at hospital too late sometimes. Moreover, there are situations in which the patient feels no pain and only symptom may be shortness of breath, as patients with diabetes. Arrival at the hospital as soon as possible after the onset of stroke is extremely important.
The new device, called AngelMed Guardian ®, is extremely useful for patients with cardiovascular disease and risk of myocardial infarction. Even if this kind of devices have been created so far, none have used the combination of acoustic, visual and vibration signals. In addition, it was found that the auditors based only on signals such as those implanted in the heart defibrillators may not always help because patients sometimes do not hear the alarm. Author Mary Carol Day says that this device has two major advantages. First, this device is implanted, that is it can not be forgotten. The second is that the device is also vibratile, warning patient of stroke whether he wears warm clothes or does not hear very well.
As a medical device, this is fixed in the upper left chest, and has the size of a pacemaker. In fact, the entire device is composed of two parts, one part which is implanted in the chest, and another part resembling a pager that alerts the patient when necessary. The device was designed to send two types of alarms, depending on the seriousness of the event. The first is an emergency alarm and warn the patient he can have a heart attack, and the second is a minor emergency and tells the patient to consult a physician within 24 hours. The results are promising so far. In studies of elderly patients, they could make the difference between the two types of emergencies. They also said they were satisfied with the quality warnings. The author added that in case the device is approved by FDA, it will probably need some changes in order to improve the quality of the interaction between the patient and the system.