New, implantable device could warn patients of potential heart attack
A new implantable medical device, currently undergoing clinical trials, could warn patients of an impending heart attack. The AngelMed Guardian uses a combination of vibrations, audible tones, and visual warnings to alert a patient of potential trouble. The device has two levels of alarm urgency: high-priority, which means a patient might be having a heart attack and should call 911, and low-priority, which indicates a condition for which the patient should visit the doctor within two days. The device is similar in size to a pacemaker and is implanted into the upper left chest. A series of studies with older patients showed that they liked the auditory, visual and vibrotactile warnings and could distinguishing between high- and low-priority warnings. “If the Guardian is approved for sale by the FDA, it might be extended in ways that will change the way the patient interacts with the system as a whole,” Mary Carol Day, who studied the effectiveness of the device, said.