Cardiologists at The University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, Kan., are among the first in the nation with a new tool to help them treat their patients, and it’s smaller than a Triple-A battery.
The device, called the LINQ, is slipped just beneath the patient’s skin in about 30 seconds in a doctor’s office, rather than an operating room, and it’s seen as a huge leap forward in patient comfort and monitoring.
Once inside the patient’s chest, the LINQ constantly and wirelessly monitors a patient’s heart for up to three years and sends a daily report to the doctor. Since it uses wireless technology, a patient doesn’t have to be tied down to a land line, as was the case with older, much larger devices, a spokesman said.
Doctors can help patients find answers to unexplained fainting or other potential heart-related problems without interrupting the patient’s lifestyle.
Patients are also given a small device to hold up to their chest in the event they feel dizzy, lightheaded or faint. This triggers an alert in the doctor’s office and begins transmitting real-time information for quick analysis and possible treatment.
“The technology itself has been around for a few years, but the size of the device and the ease of implanting it is very new,” said Dr. Rhea Pimentel, an electrophysiologist at The University of Kansas Hospital. “I think this is going to open a bunch of new doors for the way we diagnose and treat our patients.”
The Food and Drug Administration approved the LINQ for use in February, making it the smallest implantable cardiac monitoring device available on the market, according to its Minneapolis-based manufacturer, Medtronic Inc.
To see a video about the tiny heart monitor, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wbv3FMYfhfQ.
– Story and video from KU Hospital