Types of Implantable Devices for Remote MonitoringImplantable devices for remote monitoring include pacemakers, cardioverter defibrillators and others. Cardiac implantable devices monitor and control the heartbeats of patients with heart rhythm disorders and heart failure. These electronic devices are implanted into the chest and are often recommended when medication and lifestyle changes aren’t enough.
Implantable devices are used to treat:
- Bradycardia (slow heart rate)
- Arrhythmia (irregular heart rate)
- Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
- Cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease)
- Coronary artery disease
- Patients with a history of heart attack or cardiac arrest
- Genetic heart conditions
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
Types of Implantable Devices
There are four main types of implantable devices that provide remote heart monitoring:
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators
An ICD is placed inside the chest with wires attached to the heart. Whenever the ICD detects an abnormal heart rate, it sends an electric shock to the heart to restore its rhythm. ICDs treat arrhythmias, tachycardia, heart failure and heart disease.
Pacemakers are recommended for patients with slow heartbeats (bradycardia), arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy and heart failure. The device is implanted into the chest and will send an electric impulse to the heart when it detects a slow heart rate. It can be attached to the heart using leads (wires), although leadless pacemakers also exist.
Also known as cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), a biventricular device uses multiple leads that are attached to both ventricles of the heart as well as the right atrium. When the device identifies a slow heartbeat, it instructs the ventricles to contract. It is most often used for patients with severe heart failure symptoms.
Implantable Cardiac Loop Recorders
A cardiac loop recorder continuously chronicles your heart’s rhythm for up to three years. It is implanted in the upper chest and helps to diagnose the source of the arrhythmia. These recorders are typically recommended for patients with regular fainting spells and heart palpitations that can’t be detected on short-term heart rhythm monitors.
Conduction System Pacing
One of the most advanced implantable devices for remote heart monitoring, conduction system pacing utilizes innovative technology to monitor and stimulate the heart. Leads are implanted into the conduction system of the heart, delivering more impactful electrical impulses for patients with heart failure.
Effectiveness of Implantable Devices
Implantable devices for remote cardiac monitoring are safe, reliable and effective. While these devices should always be combined with lifestyle changes—eating healthier, exercising regularly and quitting smoking—they can improve cardiac function and reduce hospitalizations.
Tampa General Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Institute provides many treatment options for patients with heart conditions, including several types of implantable devices for device monitoring. In fact, we’re one of only five centers in the United States offering conduction system pacing.