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The High-Tech Heart: Making Life Easier When You Have an Implantable Chest Device


If you have a defibrillator or other monitoring device implanted in your chest, life could be a little easier with Guidant's Latitude Patient Management System for heart failure patients and patients at risk of sudden cardiac death.

One component of the system is a home monitoring unit that automatically-and wirelessly-reads the implantable devices' information and sends it to a secure data storage system. Your doctor specifies the times that the unit will collect the information. After the data is stored, your doctor is able to access it through a secure Web server and then either e-mail or print the information or save it to a computer or electronic medical record.

There's also the option to add a tool called the Weight Scale and Blood Pressure Monitor. This tool, which also operates wirelessly, sends data to the secure Web server as well. The information is also available to patients, so it can help them stick with the day-to-day heart failure instructions their doctor has prescribed.

This technology can decrease the amount of visits you have to make to your doctor's office. It also ensures that the information about your condition remains confidential and secure.

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