What is remote monitoring?
Your new implanted heart device—either a pacemaker or a wireless implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)—will help keep your heart rhythm steady, so you can keep up with your regular activities and lead a more active life. Now, thanks to a process called remote monitoring, your doctor will be able to tell how well your heart device is working at scheduled times while you’re sleeping or simply sitting at home.
Remote monitoring means that your heart device can be tracked using a special in-home monitor. Because your device information is transmitted to a secure website, directly to MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute’s Cardiac Care Line, you are able to have your remote “check-up” from the comfort of your own home. Your heart care team reviews this information with your doctor, to make sure that your heart device is working properly and that you are in good health.
- Your physician has recommended that your implanted cardiac device be monitored by using a home monitor provided by your device manufacturer.
- Prior to your procedure, your doctor or a member of your heart care team will provide you with brief instructions about the remote monitoring process for your heart device.
- Your in-home monitor is a simple, easy-to-use tool that keeps you connected to your care team. You will receive the home monitor following your heart procedure. A member of the heart care team will initially “pair” the new monitor with your implanted device prior to discharge from the hospital. This connects the monitor to your implanted device and to your physician’s office. This allows for remote monitoring of your device to begin.
- Your home monitor strictly reads data. The data received from your monitor is sent to a secure webpage that only authorized users associated with your care can see.
- You will receive written instructions for you and your family or caregiver to review. Any questions or concerns that arise about the monitor can answered by the Cardiac Care Line or discussed in the doctor’s office on your next office visit. Additional information and instructions may be given to you at that time.
- If you have a cardiac emergency, always dial 911.
In-home monitoring basics
- The monitor downloads information from your device at regularly scheduled times or at times that are scheduled by your doctor’s office. The monitor can collect information from your implanted device as often as every day, so it’s best to keep it plugged in at all times.
- The review of the downloaded information is then done during certain times by the doctor’s office during normal office hours. The information from the monitor is transmitted to a secure website alerting your care team about any issues, which are shared with your doctor as soon as possible.
- The monitor does not continuously convey information to the office. The home monitor routinely reads the data from your implanted device, but only relays the data once every 24 hours for the cardiac defibrillator and when requested by the office for the pacemaker.
- Only use your monitor to transmit data manually when specifically instructed to do so by your doctor’s office. The office can walk you through this process if you need help or you can check the in-home monitor instructions provided when your monitor was given to you. It is requested that no patient automatically send a transmission without the office first advising them to do so. If you feel as though you have a need to send additional readings please first contact your office.
- The home monitor DOES NOT provide constant monitoring nor does it reprogram or change any device function. If it is an emergency always dial 911 immediately.
Remote monitoring check-ups: What to expect
- Remote monitoring check-ups differ from the daily downloading of information from your device. Your doctor’s office will schedule your remote check-ups for the coming year, as well as your annual in-office check-up.
- Certain pacemakers require manual transmission of the information to the doctor’s office.
- After each of these remote check-ups, you will receive a bill from your doctor’s office for your regular copay amount. This is because your doctor reviews the results from each check-up and makes the necessary recommendations for your continued care, just as during a regular office visit.
- If you are traveling on any of your scheduled check-up dates, simply take the monitor with you and set it up as directed. If you will be out of the country, please advise the doctor’s office.
- You will be given a Device Identification Card when you get your device implanted, so that you can pass through airport security if traveling by plane.
Your doctor may have requested to have the optional heart failure management system given to you, in addition to your in-home monitor. If so, your home equipment will include a weight scale and blood pressure monitor. These will provide additional information for the Cardiac Care Line team and your doctor, to get the best sense of the state of your health.
Your heart device manufacturer will have further information and resources about remote monitoring specific to your heart device. Ask your doctor’s office for more information, or call the Cardiac Care Line at 410-261-8382 or 844-300-8382. We will be happy to help you.
Cardiac Care Line
844-300-8382 - Toll Free
- A 24/7 resource for patients and their caregivers with questions about their heart device or in-home monitor
- Offers instant access to your full team of heart care specialists
- Features staff that has been specially trained in heart device management
In a heart-health emergency,
always CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.