CARDIAC MONITORING: Medtronic to Team with Microsoft, IBM
Heart-device manufacturer Medtronic plans to partner with Microsoft and IBM to create a new monitoring service that will allow heart patients to relay up-to-date cardiac data from their homes to physicians' offices via the Internet. The electronic connection would use a home monitor to download information such as heart rate and battery status from an implanted pacemaker, defibrillator or experimental cardiac device, possibly while the patient sleeps. The data would then be automatically transmitted to a cardiologist over a secure Internet link. The physician could call the patient in for an office visit as needed or, eventually, could reprogram the device remotely without the patient leaving home. Medtronic officials said they intend to charge patients, providers or insurers for the service, but that the cost should be offset by reduced office visits and hospitalizations. The venture, to be known as Medtronic.com, will be announced today and should be operating within 18 months, company officials said (Burton, Wall Street Journal, 1/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.