Bellin Health Care Systems, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Bellin Offers New Heart Failure Monitoring Option

Bellin Health is now offering a new miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor to manage heart failure (HF). The CardioMEMS HF System is the first and only FDA-approved heart failure monitoring device that has been proven to significantly reduce hospital admissions when used by physicians to manage heart failure.

The CardioMEMS HF System features a sensor that is implanted in the pulmonary artery during a non-surgical procedure to directly measure pressure in the artery. Increased pressures appear before weight and blood pressure changes, which are often used as indirect measures of worsening heart failure. The new system transmits daily sensor readings from patients’ homes to their healthcare providers, allowing for personalized and proactive management to reduce the likelihood of hospitalization.

“We’re so pleased to be using this innovative technology to improve outcomes for heart failure patients,” said Dr. Christopher Wolfram of Cardiology Associates of Bellin Health, who performed Bellin’s first CardioMEMS procedure. “This system allows for easy, convenient monitoring — and better yet, reduces the chance these patients will land back in the hospital.”

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s demands. According to the American Heart Association, nearly 6 million Americans have heart failure and 900,000 new patients are diagnosed each year. Patients with heart failure are frequently hospitalized, have a reduced quality of life and face a higher risk of death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says half of heart failure patients die within five years of diagnosis.

“Bellin Health is committed to improving patient care and investing in innovative medical technology, including the CardioMEMS HF System,” said Andrea Werner, Bellin Health Vice President, Heart, Lung & Vascular Services. “These types of innovations help us stay on the cutting edge of care while prioritizing cost, quality and the patient experience. Already, this system is making a real difference in the lives of our patients.” 

The CardioMEMS sensor is designed to last the lifetime of the patient and doesn’t require batteries. Once implanted, the wireless sensor sends pressure readings to an external patient electronic system. There is no pain or sensation for the patient during the readings. The CardioMEMS HF System allows the patients to transmit critical information about their heart failure status to a clinician on a regular basis, without the need for additional clinic or hospital visits. This provides clinicians with the ability to detect worsening heart failure sooner and adjust treatment to reduce the likelihood that the patient will need to be hospitalized.

Data from a clinical trial showed the CardioMEMS technology reduces heart failure hospital admissions by up to 37 percent. The CHAMPION trial studied the effectiveness of the CardioMEMS HF System in New York Heart Association (NYHA) Functional Classification System class III heart failure patients who had been hospitalized for heart failure in the previous 12 months. Recent data from a study by Northwell Health demonstrated that use of the CardioMEMS HF System leads to significant improvements in quality of life and ability to exercise in patients with chronic heart failure.

Heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization for Americans over age 65. According to the American Heart Association, the estimated direct and indirect cost of heart failure in the U.S. in 2012 was $31 billion and that number is expected to more than double by 2030.

The CardioMEMS HF System, from global medical device manufacturer St. Jude Medical, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for commercial use in the U.S. For more information, visit