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2008 – 1st Hospital Ever to Fit Patient with Vision 3D Wireless Defibrillator

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Newmarket, Ontario (July 21, 2008) –In what’s being billed as the way of the future in cardiac care, an Ontario heart patient has received a first-of-its-kind cardiac device that allows medical staff to monitor his condition as well as check his life-saving equipment remotely.

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Midland, Ontario resident George Woods, 73, was implanted with the new Vision 3D™ wireless defibrillator last week at Newmarket-based Southlake Regional Health Centre. He is the first person in Canada to benefit from the new technology, which has just been launched in the North American market by leading medical technology developer Medtronic, Inc. of Minneapolis. The device is now commercially available in Canada, and has yet to be released in the United States.

The new defibrillator – a stopwatch-sized device implanted in the chest area with leads (thin wires) extending to the heart and administering electrical shocks to stop irregular heart rhythms that can cause sudden cardiac arrest – is unique in that it not only remotely monitors the condition of the patient from the comfort of home, but it continuously and automatically tests the leads and alerts medical staff to any changes or potential problems. Specialized practitioners can then remotely view the device information and testing results and determine if the patient needs any changes to be made or should be brought to the hospital for care.

“With this innovation, patients no longer have to book check-ups every three to four month at cardiac centres – which often involves hours of driving and wait times – to have their implanted devices tested,” said Marianne Beardsall, Advance Practice Nurse at Southlake Regional Health Centre, the first cardiac centre in Canada to introduce the new technology. “Everything can now be done via Internet and patients need only come into the hospital if the transmitted reports show a problem that can’t be fixed remotely. This means that, if all is well, patients potentially never have to come to the hospital concerning their implanted devices.”

“This translates to significantly better patient care and gives patients increased peace of mind about their health and safety,” Beardsall explained. “Since everything can be done remotely, the new technology also decreases hospital wait times, and frees doctors and nurses up so they can treat a greater number of patients in a shorter amount of time.”

According to the international Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, 123 Canadians die from sudden cardiac arrest every day. Heart failure affects more than 22 million people worldwide, including about 500,000 Canadians. Studies show the management of chronic heart failure costs the Canadian health care system more than $2 billion each year, with 79 per cent of total costs spent on emergency room visits and hospitalization.

“With the new technology, we will be able to provide a better quality of care and we hope that it will reduce the financial impact on the healthcare system at the same time,” said Dr. Atul Verma, Electrophysiologist at Southlake Regional Health Centre, who spearheaded last week’s procedure.

“For the first time, we have access to sophisticated defibrillators with complete wireless capability that can capture what’s happening in the heart and completely monitor the device function automatically at home, rather than requiring in-clinic testing,” Dr. Verma added.

Predicting the new technology will become the standard of care in the cardiac field moving forward, Dr. Verma said “it’s very possible in the next couple of years that every qualified patient in Canada may benefit from this kind of automated device.”

Southlake Regional Health Centre
596 Davis Drive, Newmarket, Ontario   L3Y 2P9
Tel: 905-895-4521   |   TTY: 905-952-3062
Copyright © 2012 Southlake Regional Health Centre
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