CardioMems keep heart failure patients healthy and at home

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Six million adult Americans have heart failure, a condition where the heart can't circulate blood as well as it should.

For some patients, an implantable device has been an option for doctors to keep a close eye on the pressures inside a patient's heart. And new research shows the system is saving lives and millions of dollars in health care costs.

Dorris Jenkins has been living with heart failure for the past two years.

"You can't breathe," she said.

Jenkins spent a full month in the hospital. Then for the next year, she was readmitted almost every two weeks.

Dr. Sumeet Mitter felt Jenkins would be a good candidate for CardioMems. Doctors thread a catheter through a leg vein and deploy the device near the heart. Every morning, patients lie on a special pillow that transmits the readings to their cardiologist's smartphone.

"If she's having a bad day, I can log in and see, 'Hey, are her pressures going up?'"

That way, Mitter can adjust her medication immediately.

Jenkins says the monitoring system also discourages her from eating salty foods.

"He said, 'You know, Ms. Jenkins, if you eat a bag of potato chips today, I'll know tomorrow.' And I said, 'Yeah, right'" she recalled. "Sure enough. You eat a bag of potato chips today, he will know in the morning."

researchers studied 1,200 Medicare patients, and found a 58% reduction in hospitalizations one year after implant and a reduction in costs of more than $13,000 per patient.

Doctors say the monitoring system has kept Jenkins on track.

"Since February 2018 after the implant, she has not been admitted to the hospital once," Mitter said.

The results of a Food and Drug Administration post-approval study presented at the American College of Cardiology Sessions in March showed that patients were almost 100% free from complications related to the device. The device was first FDA-approved in May 2014.

Researchers say obese patients and those who live far from a hospital would also be likely to benefit from the implant.

REPORT: MB #4614

BACKGROUND: Heart disease describes a range of different conditions including blood vessel disease, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, congenital heart defects, and many more. One misconception is that heart disease means a heart attack. This is not always true, these conditions can lead to a heart attack, but most forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated by living a healthy lifestyle. Heart disease usually involves narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead patients to have a heart attack, chest pain, or a stroke. (Source:

SYMPTOMS: Heart disease may not be diagnosed until a patient has a heart attack, so patients should see their doctor for regular evaluations. Symptoms to look for include things like chest pain, tightness, pressure and discomfort. Other things like shortness of breath or pain, numbness and coldness in your limbs, even pain in the neck, jaw, throat, or back can be symptoms from heart disease. The symptoms can be different in men and women. Men are much more likely to have chest pain, whereas women are more prone to have chest discomfort, shortness of breath, nausea and fatigue. (Source:

NEW RESEARCH: Sumeet Mitter, MD is an advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist at Mt. Sinai who has used a new implantable device called CardioMems on some patients with heart failure. It is saving patients' lives as well as millions of dollars in healthcare costs. Dr. Mitter says this sensor allows patients to stay home and live normal lives. "What the CardioMems allows us to do is actually measure those pressures remotely rather than having someone come into the hospital. The sensor receives and checks the pressures changes. The patient can lay on the pillow at home, it gets uploaded to a web portal and I can pull it up even at my desk or my iPhone," says Dr. Mitter. The procedure is minimally invasive. Doctors go through a vein in the right femoral vein in the leg which leads back up to the heart where they then place a wire into the pulmonary artery and then deploy the sensor. One of his patients has seen major improvements. "Since February 2018 after the implant, she's not been admitted to the hospital once. Where previously, she was being admitted every two weeks," said Mitter. (Source: Sumeet Mitter, MD)