There are a growing number of options for treating atrial fibrillation (A-fib) without a lifelong dependence on medication. At MercyOne Iowa Heart Center, one of the premier cardiology, vascular and cardiovascular surgery practices in the nation, telehealth and remote patient monitoring platforms are used to improve patient access to care and increase clinical confidence in new applications for treatment.
Dr. Robert Hoyt, a cardiologist at MercyOne Iowa Heart Center who specializes in innovative cardiac care, uses remote patient monitoring to follow up with patients after a pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) ablation.
PVI is an innovative treatment for patients whose A-fib symptoms persist despite medications and/or who cannot tolerate antiarrhythmic drugs. This procedure creates tiny scars in the heart to block abnormal electrical signals and restore a normal heat beat.
The procedure may involve an overnight stay; patients are discharged with detailed discharge instructions to promote healing and avoid complications that can include bleeding or infection at the insertion site, blood vessel or heart valve damage, new or worsening arrhythmia, slow heart rate, stroke or heart attack, and even death in rare cases.
“We have entered a new era of A-fib treatment,” said Dr. Hoyt. “We can now correct A-fib without medication and continuously support patients outside the clinic with remote patient monitoring to help them avoid complications and maintain their health.”
Dr. Hoyt’s clinic uses remote patient monitoring to collect continuous and real-time patient data to continuously track their heart rhythms and detect issues before they lead to an adverse event.
Remote patient monitoring after ablation is also used to identify patients at risk of A-fib recurrence in the long term and before symptoms occur.
According to the CDC, A-fib is the most common type of heart arrhythmia, affecting up to 6.1 million Americans and contributing to more than 175,000 deaths a year. Patients with A-fib have an increased risk of stroke, pulmonary embolism, structural heart changes, and heart failure.
“A-fib is a disease related to aging that becomes more common over the age of 60. It’s prevalent with patients who have cardiovascular disease and can lead to heart failure and even death,” said Teresa Sieck, CEO and Chief Medical Officer of WebCareHealth.
WebCare Health’s remote patient monitoring platform for A-fib, AFMgr, is used by Dr. Hoyt and other cardiologists at MercyOne Iowa Heart Center to follow up with patients after PVI as well as other conditions like heart failure and hypertension to reduce risk of adverse events and cardiac-associated hospitalizations.
“A-fib is major contributor to heart failure and poor quality of life that impacts millions. Newer treatment options like PVI are enhanced by the availability of remote patient monitoring to help catch problems early and enable patients to maintain their health and overall quality of life,” said Sieck