Methodist Hospitals touts new heart monitoring system - April 17, 2015

Courtesy of Post-Tribune

Sue Ellen Ross, Post-Tribune
4:43 pm, April 17, 2015
Methodist Hospitals is counted as the first medical facility in the Northwest Indiana — and the Chicago area — to offer patients a new heart failure monitoring system.

A recent seminareducated heart patients and members of the community in the use of the CardioMEMS Heart Failure (HF) System. More than 75 people attended.

“We are in groundbreaking technology,” said Dr. Andre Artis, medical director of the Heart and Vascular Institute at Methodist Hospitals. “This new system is a good indicator that alerts your doctor if your heart disease is getting worse.”

The hospital was the pilot facility in the greater Chicago area on Feb. 4 to implant a miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor to manage heart failure. Methodist has since implanted 10 more sensors.

The CardioMEMS HF System is the only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has been proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when used by physicians to manage heart failure, the hospital said in a news release.

The system features a sensor that is implanted in the pulmonary artery during a nonsurgical procedure to directly measure pressure.

Increased pulmonary artery pressures appear before weight and blood pressure changes, which are often used as indirect measures of worsening heart failure. The new system allows patients to transmit daily sensor readings from their homes to their health care providers — allowing for personalized and proactive management to reduce the likelihood of hospitalization.

Mae Ola Logan of Gary was that first implant patient, and she was in the audience at the seminar.

“Before I used this (system), I was so tired all the time. I could hardly walk. Now I have more energy,” Logan said. “It (the implant procedure) wasn’t uncomfortable at all.”

In her case, Logan’s daily monitoring showed that she needed to increase her fluid intake and adjust some of her medication. These adjustments led to her improvement, the hospital said.

Her daughter, Debra Gray of Gary, attested to the change in her mother’s lifestyle. “She used to walk extremely slow,” Gray said, “This (monitoring device) has been a miracle for her.”

Also addressing the crowd was Dr. Kais Yehyawi, cardiologist on staff at Methodist Hospitals. He stated statistics on heart failure, which occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands.

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States,” he said. “More than 5.1 million people in the U.S. suffer from heart failure, which is a progressive disease.”

Wilma and Don Davis of Lake Station each have heart health issues and came to the event with pencil and paper in hand. Wilma had a quadruple bypass 11 years ago, and Don received a pacemaker in 2010.

Wilma said she is not a candidate for the new monitoring system but her husband may be.

“We’re her to find out information and go back to my doctor to get his opinion,” Don said.

Wilma added that educational seminars such as the one offered by Methodist Hospitals can be a great inspiration to other heart patients. “They can help make people more knowledgeable about things they’ve never heard of — or even thought about before.”

Methodist Hospitals is a community-based, not-for-profit health system, developed almost 100 years ago, with two full-service acute care facilities located in Gary and Merrillville.

Sue Ellen Ross is a freelance reporter.