New mobile app connects pacemakers to smartphones

Medtronic announced on Jan. 15 the launch of a mobile app that connects four of the company’s pacemakers to patients’ smartphones and tablets, removing the need for bedside monitors or other remote monitoring equipment.

"For the first time, pacemakers have the ability to communicate securely and directly with technology that patients use every day like smartphones and tablets," Aisha Barry, vice president of the Connectivity & Insights business at Medtronic, said in a press release. "This brings the benefits of remote monitoring seamlessly into patients' lives, potentially leading to enhanced and more efficient patient engagement with their physicians."

The MyCareLink Heart mobile app will be available for use with the Azure pacemaker as well as the Percepta, Serena and Solara quadripolar cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemakers, according to Medtronic. The app uses encrypted data to alert physicians when clinically relevant patient events occur. It also allows patients to:

  • Check what information has been transmitted to their doctors, including confirmations when those transmissions are received.
  • Track vital measurements over time including weight, blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Keep an eye on the estimated remaining battery life of their devices.
  • Maintain a personal journal of their symptoms which is stored on the mobile device. At the patient’s discretion, it could be shared with clinicians during in-person visits.
  • Review educational material and frequently asked questions about living with a pacemaker.
  • Automatically track their physical activity levels in daily, weekly and monthly views using data collected from the heart devices.
  • Access their device information, including model number and serial number, as well as clinic information.