Keck Medicine of USC Physicians First in Southern California to Implant New Wireless Device to Manage Heart Failure

LOS ANGELES — The CardioMEMS Heart Failure System, made by St. Jude Medical, is a tiny wireless sensor, powered by radiofrequency energy and implanted into the pulmonary artery (PA) with minimally invasive surgery. The sensor tracks PA pressure through short, daily readings that the patient conducts using a special pillow with an antenna. Physicians access the readings on a secure website. Clinical trials conducted prior to FDA approval demonstrated a 30 percent reduction in hospital readmissions. David Shavelle, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, recently implanted the device in a patient. “This device is a game changer for heart failure patients,” said Shavelle. “Before this device, we made medication changes based upon a patient’s symptoms and changes in their weight. Changes in pressures within the heart often occur prior to the onset of a patient’s symptoms. The pivotal CHAMPION clinical study that evaluated the CardioMEMS device showed that medication changes based upon changes in pressures measured by the device reduced future hospitalizations. Now that we have access to pressure data in real time, this will allow us to respond and adjust treatment much faster. Responding faster will allow us to reduce future…

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