St. Jude Medical announced it would acquire CardioMEMS, maker of the HF System for monitoring heart failure patients, in January 2014.
Keeping heart failure patients healthy and away from the emergency room is a top priority for hospitals seeking to lower costs and prevent Medicare fines resulting from high hospital readmissions rates.
Up until now, physicians relied on factors like increasing body weight as a sign of worsening heart failure. But CardioMEMS, the Atlanta startup that was recently bought by St. Jude Medical, has developed a wireless sensor that is implanted on the pulmonary artery (PA) to provide a more accurate picture of a heart failure patient’s condition.
PA pressure measurements are clinically recognized to be an accurate measure of the status of a heart failure patient. But until FDA approved the CardioMEMS device in May 2014, there was no way to get PA pressure measurements from patients at home. Now, patients implanted with the sensor can simply lie down for a few seconds on CardioMEMS' pillow, which is connected via a cable to a transmitter. The transmitter collects the information from the implanted wireless sensor and routes it to physicians.
[image courtesy of CARDIOMEMS]