Del Salter of Blaine, Minnesota is one of the five million people in the United States who has heart failure.
Every day, he takes twelve medications. Still, he felt tired and weak and had trouble controlling his weight, until about five months ago.
That's when Salter had a miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor implanted in his pulmonary artery at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. Since then, every day, he has transmitted sensor readings to his cardiologist.
"The data is real time and easy to interpret. We are able to intervene at least two weeks before patients actually start feeling the symptoms," said Amin Rahmatullah, MD, cardiologist with Metropolitan Heart & Vascular Institute at Mercy Hospital.
Pulmonary artery pressure increases appear before weight and blood pressure changes, which are often used as indirect measures of worsening heart failure. Based on the sensor readings, Rahmatullah adjusts Salter's medications.
"I think it's miraculous, and I think it has kept me out of the hospital," said Salter. "I feel much better and confident. It’s comforting to know that the numbers are good."
Cardiologists at Mercy and Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern Hospital are using the CardioMEMS Heart Failure System by St. Jude Medical. It is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when used by physicians to monitor heart failure.