New to PM

How do you monitor your PM? Throught phone app or through a stand alone monitor box? I have Medtronics. I have option of either. Just wanted to find out which one was better. Thanks!


12 Comments

MyCareLink Patient Monitor

by Good Dog - 2022-04-07 20:13:16

I have the MyCareLink stand alone monitor. It is an extremely simple and quick process to scan my PM and send off the report. It is stand alone and operates on a cell signal. I have been using this for over ten years. Not exactly sure, but a long while! I don't keep it plugged-in and only plug it in when I am ready to send a report. Up until the pandemic I had been going to Florida every winter and I took the unit with me and sent my report from there. Here is a link for it to check it out:

https://www.medtronic.com/us-en/patients/treatments-therapies/remote-monitoring/available-monitors/mycarelink-patient.html

Sincerely,

Dave

Monitor

by Dixie Chick 65 - 2022-04-07 21:43:29

The Medtronic app is easy to use. You never have to think about sending in a device report. It is all automatic and pre programmed. Plus, you can check your app to see your activity level, info about your device ( serial numbers etc.) battery usage and when your next transmission is scheduled.
The device nurse at my EP's office sends me ( via email ) a copy of my device report every 3 months. I have an I Phone and I'm pretty sure the app is for Android phones too.

Monitor

by AgentX86 - 2022-04-07 22:59:49

The MyCareLink box is the bigest POS I think I've ever encountered.  It was designed by morons studying to become idiots.  I unplugged the damn thing and threw it under the bed.  OTOH, the app works well.  It's unobtrusive and it's with me all the time.  I only have two scheduled transmitions per year (two in-office, as well) so I don't really need it all the time. It is nice to be able to send a report at any time. If I had paroxymal or persistent Afib I'd find this quite valuable.

No monitoring here

by LondonAndy - 2022-04-08 06:41:05

I am 100% paced following surgical complication, and have never been sure if it was our NHS being frugal or a simple lack of clinical need to do any monitoring, so the only checks I have are when I go for the annual checkups. I don't think my particular model (a Medtronic Ensura DR MRI inserted in 2014) is capable of remote monitoring anyway.

medtronic carelink

by new to pace.... - 2022-04-08 08:45:28

have the monitor sitting on the nitestand by the bed.  Does not bother me.  Transmits i am told nightly between 12-3am.  Never know when it does send the report.  

The heart clinic has it set up for quartely transmissions. I have it set up to send me  and my health care person  notications as to when the transmission has been successful.

Was told if away for a month or more to take with me.  

new to pace

DBan

by Gemita - 2022-04-08 09:34:22

I am also in the UK and my main London hospital doesn’t appear to automatically give out monitors unless there is a clear indication for monitoring, for example, where syncope is still intermittently occurring or a significant arrhythmia like VT has been detected and needs watching to see whether treatment is adequate.   Atrial tachyarrhythmias wouldn’t necessarily qualify for nightly/periodic automatic monitoring, especially if these are well controlled … nor would the condition for which the pacemaker was originally implanted, especially if the condition is fixed by the pacemaker.

So like LondonAndy, my main checks come from in clinic six monthly/annual monitoring which hasn't been so regular over the last couple years due to Covid.

Prior to my pacemaker (with a Reveal Linq implant to catch syncope), I had nightly automatic monitoring via a Medtronic telephone Carelink monitor but now that my arrhythmias and syncope are well controlled and I have a pacemaker, automatic monitoring has stopped and I have been given a Mycarelink Smart Monitor instead where I have complete control over my transmissions.  I am very symptomatic during arrhythmias, so I would certainly know about them.  Some of us however are not so symptomatic and so some events could well be missed unless automatic transmissions were set up.

I would suggest setting both monitors up for peace of mind.  Automatic frequent monitoring will give you and your doctors lots of information to see what is normal for you.  Take full advantage while you can.

LondonAndy

by Gemita - 2022-04-08 09:36:49

I have a Medtronic Ensura model, implanted in 2018, very capable of remote monitoring.  Ask whether the MyCareLink Smart Patient Reader is available for your model, no harm and it might be useful as you come to the end of battery life, perhaps?

Device Monitoring

by Marybird - 2022-04-08 21:00:32

I know individual cardiac device monitor transmission schedules vary according to the way these are set up per doctors' orders at initial setup/pairing of the pacemaker/ICD device with its monitoring device. But its my understanding that in the case of automatic transmission with wireless monitors, what occurs nightly ( in the case of blue tooth enabled wireless pacemakers/ICDs), is the transmission of the data from the pacemaker to the paired wireless monitor. As I understand it the transmission of this data from the transmitter  to the secured website maintained by the manufacturer is done on the schedule set up for that patient, but NOT nightly unless the transmission from the pacemaker shows some data outside the normal parameters or abnormalities ( could be pacemaker or patient related), in which case the transmission would be sent with an alert to get the attention of the patient's healthcare practitioners. I can only imagine the sheer amount of patient device data that would need to be sorted through if everyone's data was transmitted nightly, it'd be an impossible task. 

I'd assumed ( my bad) for quite a while that pacemakers or other ICDs implanted within  the last few years anywhere in the world were blue-tooth enabled and paired with wireless transmitters that automatically sent data to the secure manufacturer's website. I learned this was definitely not the case, though many people who receive implanted cardiac devices get manual transmission monitors with instructions to send those manual transmissions as needed to the website for access by the health care providers.

It's also my understanding from others' posts here that they may or may not have received a device monitor ( automatic or manual) with their cardiac device implants, but have in- office device checks at least once, perhaps twice or maybe more often as needed and don't use the home device monitors much if at all. This was the case with my daughter when she received her first Medtronic pacemaker in 2012. She had in office device checks twice a year, and I think we could count on one hand the numbet of times they asked her to send a manual monitor report. She used it so seldom she found it didn't even work the last time they asked her for a manual monitor transmission- around the time that pacemaker reached its ERI. She had a replacement generator in 2020 and they gave her a tabletop wireless transmitter. 

But I'm wondering now, are there some folks around now, who've gotten pacemaker/ICD implants who have not received any type of monitoring device ( manual or automatic), who depend on in-office monitoring of their cardiac devices? Is that even an option these days? From London Andy's and Gemita's comments it sounded as though this might be the case, at least when healthcare providers have determined the patient's condition is stable and there is no need for monitoring. But they don't give you a monitor ( even a refurbished manual monitor) just in case you might need one? 

Marybird

by Gemita - 2022-04-09 04:34:21

Yes you are correct, some of us do not have any form of home monitoring of our pacemakers here in the UK and it is for us to take responsibility and report any new or worrying symptoms to our doctors.   Not ideal, I know.  In my hospital new ICD patients are monitored at home since they will have had a serious arrhythmia detected (hence the ICD) and may need ongoing surveillance.

I quickly went through some of our older posts on the subject of home monitoring, one from 2015, one more recent (2022).  Interesting reading and you will see that other members (from the UK) do not have any form of remote monitoring, and any monitoring that is provided is usually in the form of one annual in person check.  My husband with heart disease/signs of heart failure has never had a home monitor for his single lead pacemaker (implanted 2018).  My sister with severe heart failure and an EF of 16% at last check (November), doesn't even have a pacemaker/ICD yet.  Sounds crazy I know.

I will be attending a pacemaker check with my husband in another main London hospital in a few weeks time so I will ask about their monitoring policy for new pacemaker/ICD patients (and existing ones).  I will confirm their policy in a separate post in due course.  But yes, with the cost of pacemakers and advances in technology, I believe home monitoring devices should be part of the service.  This might help to reduce the costs of in person checks where appropriate in the future and save frail patients from having to attend hospital and risk having a fall or getting an infection like Covid.  It makes so much sense.

https://www.pacemakerclub.com/message/10763/home-monitoring-much-more-than-just-convenient

https://www.pacemakerclub.com/message/41641

Remote Monitoring

by AgentX86 - 2022-04-09 12:40:59

Gemita, would a poll be interesting?  Yes, no, nightly, quarterly...

Monitor

by Aberdeen - 2022-04-09 14:46:44

I have a Meditronic monitor which is beside my bed. It alerted the pacemaker department recently that my pacemaker was not working properly.  I was glad that I was at home. 
Now when I go on holiday I feel I should take it with me. I am going to ask my EP about it.

Aberdeen and AgentX86

by Gemita - 2022-04-09 15:55:19

Aberdeen, yes your situation and heart condition certainly confirms the importance of home monitoring.  I agree, take your monitor with you when on holiday. I have many times and it always gave peace of mind.

AgentX86, Yes a Poll would be helpful although I feel most of us believe a home monitor is worth having for so many reasons.  I will try to organise a Poll with Tracey's kind help (along the lines you suggest). 

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