Westmead Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care

Big Confidence for Miniature Heart Monitor at Westmead Private Hospital


Big Confidence for Miniature Heart Monitor at Westmead Private Hospital

Jul 30, 2014

Cardiologists & Cardiothoracic Surgeons at Westmead Private Hospital are amongst the first experts in New South Wales to implant the world's smallest cardiac monitor. The Medtronic Reveal LINQ™ Implantable Cardiac Monitor is capable of wirelessly diagnosing potentially dangerous, irregular heartbeats and hoped to disarm the 'ticking time bomb' for those Australians who live unknowingly with chronic heart conditions.

Without appropriate diagnosis and treatment, the effects of undetected or misdiagnosed heart rhythm disorders can be fatal and occur without warning. The new insertable cardiac monitor (ICM) will be used to aid clinicians in detecting minute changes in a patient's heart rhythm by continuously monitoring, recording and storing data inside the device for up to three years. In addition, due to its wireless monitoring capabilities, physicians can be notified quickly if patients need medical attention between regular appointments, a big advantage for patients living in the country or remote locations.

Dr Ajita Kanthan, Cardiologist at Westmead Private Hospital, has now undertaken a number of cases over the past month and said "It is wonderful that we are able to give patients access to this technology, ultimately allowing them to get the diagnostic answers they need quickly".

Placed just beneath the skin's surface through a small incision of less than 1 cm, the monitor (which is about one third of the size of an AAA battery) provides uninterrupted monitoring for up to three years, plus is nearly invisible to the naked eye in most patients. The miniaturisation of the monitor provides smaller patients including children access to the technology with little cosmetic impact.

For the patients the benefits include:

  • Minimal scarring
  • Minimal pain
  • Fast recovery
  • Short hospital stay
  • High patient satisfaction

The number of Australians living with heart rhythm disease is currently unknown, with high numbers of the population undiagnosed. For example, while more than 400,000 Australians are diagnosed with AF, a further 100,000 Australians are estimated to be living with the condition and undiagnosed. Stroke is one of the most serious consequences of AF and imposes substantial personal and economic costs. Ineffective or no stroke prevention treatment leads to even more strokes, poor outcomes for patients and is costly to the Australian health system.

Tim Daniel, CEO of Westmead Private Hospital said 'This is an exciting opportunity for Westmead Private Hospital to provide a cutting edge treatment option to our patients and demonstrates the hospital's commitment of best patient care."