Remote monitoring of cardiac implantable electronic devices


Over the last few decades, cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIED), such as pacemakers, cardiac resynchronization therapy devices and implantable defibrillators, have contributed to the survival and quality of life of patients with cardiovascular related diseases.

The number of CIED implantations and subsequent replacements, revisions and upgrades has significantly increased. After CIED implantation, patients have periodic visits to the clinic to examine performance, safety and durability of the device. Remote monitoring of CIED offers a potential solution to this problem. 

Remote monitoring has evolved significantly since its origin. The development and successive advent of remote monitoring, as a class I recommended treatment, signifies a major evolution in clinical practice.

Remote monitoring systems can send information on programmable features, device function, cardiovascular events, and patient clinical status from a CIED to the transmitter, which is placed in proximity of the patient. The transmitter sends this data to healthcare professionals.

Discovering faults with a device, quick alerts on the status of patient to professionals, avoidance of  hospital visits for follow-up visits, and increased survival rate, are just some of the advantages of remote monitoring. However, patient involvement, fast response to alerts, and in-depth analysis are very important for cardiologists or allied professionals to avoid catastrophic effects. 

Keeping track of alerts of multiple patients and increased workload due to overflow of generated data are the challenges. Analysis of data has become cumbersome and time consuming with each manufacturer having a different data format.

There is a need for clinical practices and healthcare systems to invest in infrastructure and remote monitoring to uphold improved efficiency and outcomes. Remote monitoring platforms are expected to be integrated and increasingly used to steer research over the next five years.