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Cardiac microchip provides advance warning of future heart problems


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Cardiac microchip provides advance warning of future heart problems

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A potentially life-saving microchip has been developed to forewarn patients suffering from heart problems of any deterioration in their condition.

Reg Youngman is one of the first to try the microchip.

A tiny micro sensor has been inserted into his pulmonary artery, which monitors his heart function.

Everyday he is scanned and his data is sent to his hospital and medical team, if there is any indication of a problem the doctors identify it and take appropriate action.

Mr Youngman says the technology is reassuring: “You have more faith and trust. People are looking at, watching me and I feel safer. Because in the past I never knew quite when something was going to hit me badly and when it did, it was usually, it had gone too far and hit me really badly.”

The CardioMEMS sensor is implanted next to the heart during a minimally invasive procedure using a cardiac catheter, which is passed up to the heart through a vein in the leg.

Once in place, the device, which has no battery or replaceable parts, enables monitoring of changes in blood pressure in the pulmonary artery, which is a good indicator of a worsening heart condition.

Professor Martin Cowie is a Cardiologist “With some patients it’s very tricky to get the balance right. They’re walking a tightrope. Too much fluid, too little fluid, too much treatment, too little treatment, so we’re really hoping that this little chip will help us add science to that and get a better idea of what’s happening for each individual patient and keep them out of hospital.”

Doctors are able to spot any downturn in the patients condition before symptoms rise to the surface.

The device allows those suffering from heart complaints to remain at home knowing that doctors can keep an eye on them.

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