CardioMEMS HF Monitoring | Iowa Lutheran Hospital

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CardioMEMs HF System at Iowa Lutheran Hospital

CardioMEMS™ Heart Failure Monitoring

Iowa Lutheran Hospital is the first Iowa hospital to offer a new heart failure treatment: the CardioMEMS™ HF System. This treatment is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has been proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when used by physicians to manage heart failure. 

About Heart Failure

Heart failure (HF) occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body's demands. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 5.1 million Americans have heart failure, with 670,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Patients with heart failure are frequently hospitalized, have a reduced quality of life and face a higher risk of death. Learn more about heart failure.

Monitoring Heart Failure

Directly measuring pulmonary artery (PA) pressure via a procedure called a right-heart catheterization is a standard-of-care practice for managing worsening heart failure in patients who have been hospitalized. However, since heart failure is a chronic disease, most days are spent outside the hospital, making CardioMEMS an important aspect of at home heart failure monitoring.

CardioMEMS Monitoring

The CardioMEMS™ HF System is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has been proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when used by physicians to manage heart failure. The new heart failure treatment includes a sensor that is implanted in the pulmonary artery (PA) during a non-surgical procedure to directly measure PA pressure. Increased PA pressures appear before weight and blood pressure changes, which are often used as indirect measures of worsening heart failure. This new treatment allows patients to transmit daily sensor readings from their homes to their health care providers allowing for personalized and proactive management to reduce the likelihood of hospitalization.

How Does It Work?

The implantable sensor is a completely sealed capsule that uses microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology, which allows the creation of sensors with measurement stability and energy efficiency. All of the sensor components are made of materials that have been chosen for their durability, robustness, biocompatibility, and insensitivity to changes in body chemistry or biology. This new heart failure treatment is powered by radio frequency (RF) energy. It is implanted into the pulmonary artery using minimally invasive techniques via a catheter and is designed to last the lifetime of the patient.

The sensor does not have a battery or leads and is very small. Once implanted, the sensor wirelessly sends pressure readings to the external patient electronic system. There is no pain or sensation for the patient during the readings. The electronics transmit the readings to a secure website where it can be seen by the patient's clinician. The external measurement system wirelessly tracks frequency and uses it to determine the pressure in the pulmonary artery. 

At home, heart failure patients use a portable electronic unit and a special pillow containing an antenna to take daily sensor readings. This is a simple process that takes only a few minutes. The patient's electronic unit is turned on and the patient lies on the pillow. The electronic unit uses audible signals telling the patient to press the button to initiate a reading. The pressure readings are then wirelessly transmitted to a secure website.

Who Is It For?

Historically, heart failure has been one of the most common reasons for hospitalizations in people over 70 years of age. Doctors monitor the weight and blood pressure of heart failure patients and might prescribe several different medications and even recommend a cardiac resynchronization therapy device, or CRT.  The CardioMEMS HF System can be used in conjunction with other medical therapies to better understand how a patient's body responds to different therapies, such as medications, lifestyle changes, or CRT

What Are the Patient Benefits?

When used by clinicians to manage heart failure, the CardioMEMS HF System can help heart failure patients better manage their condition and possibly prevent future hospitalizations. The system is:

  • Safe and reliable. 98.6% of patients were free from device or system complications

  • Clinically proven. Reduced heart failure admissions by 37%

  • Proactive and personalized. Patient management through direct monitoring of PA pressure and titration of medications

Reduce risk of heart failure hospital admission and improve quality of life with the CardioMEMS HF System! Call UnityPoint Clinic - Cardiology at (515) 263-2400 to learn if you are a candidate for the non-invasive procedure.