St. Jude adds mobile alerts to implantable device monitor

By Chris Gullo
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merlin_at_homeSt. Jude Medical announced new features for its Merlin.net remote patient monitoring offering, Patient Care Network (PCN), including mobile alerts for physicians and improved data export to EHRs.

Mobile DirectAlerts, a notification system for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices, enables physicians to receive messages whenever a patient triggers the device's alert system.

In addition, an Auto EHRDirect Export feature transmits data from the Merlin@home device directly to a clinic or hospital’s EHR system using the IDCO (Implantable Device Cardiac Observation) profile, "an industry standard for the transfer of information from an interrogated implantable cardiac device to information management systems."

The Merlin@home device first received wireless support in May 2010: St. Jude Medical launched a wireless USB adaptor for its Merlin@home transmitter for patients with implantable cardiac devices last spring. The new adaptor allowed important patient data from the patient’s implantable cardiac device to be wirelessly downloaded and securely transmitted via cellular networks to a physician for review. Previously Merlin@home required a landline telephone line.

“Our intention with these Merlin.net PCN updates is to make the collection and utilization of patient and device data as convenient as possible for physicians managing patients with complex cardiac conditions,” stated St. Jude Medical Cardiac Rhythm Management Division president Eric S. Fain, M.D., in a press release. “As hospitals are increasingly focused on implementing robust EHR systems, this upgrade shows our commitment to offering physicians the technology necessary to provide efficient and secure solutions for the transfer of health data into those systems.”

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Read the press release below.

PRESS RELEASE -- St. Jude Medical, Inc., a global medical device company, today announced the launch of its Merlin.net® Patient Care Network (PCN) version 5.0. This update features enhancements to the Internet-based repository of patient and implantable device data that provide physicians easier access to important alerts and improve efficiency of data transmission to electronic health records (EHR).

“Our intention with these Merlin.net PCN updates is to make the collection and utilization of patient and device data as convenient as possible for physicians managing patients with complex cardiac conditions”

The new Merlin.net PCN update features Mobile DirectAlerts® notification, which is a secure physician notification system for important patient and device alerts. A physician-designated alert is sent automatically to a physician’s mobile device when a patient has an alert-triggering event. Once a physician receives the alert, he or she can quickly link directly to the patient’s alert transmission, creating faster and more convenient access to pertinent patient reports when physicians are out of the office. It is no longer necessary to login to a computer to find and access patient records following an alert, thus allowing for a quicker reaction time to potential clinical issues. The Mobile DirectAlerts notifications are compatible with multiple mobile devices, including the iPhone®, Android™, iPad® and Blackberry®.

“The new mobile alert function allows me to directly access relevant information for patients needing attention no matter where I am. It provides fast and convenient access to important information such as the alert trigger, electrocardiograms and the patient’s contact information,” said Dr. Sandeep Gupta, M.D., Middletown Cardiovascular Associates, Middletown, Ohio.

The new software update also adds the Auto EHRDirect® Export feature, an automated connection from the Merlin@home® transmitter directly to the clinic or hospital’s EHR system. The EHRDirect Export capability uses the IDCO profile (Implantable Device Cardiac Observation), an industry standard for the transfer of information from an interrogated implantable cardiac device to information management systems. Adhering to this standard allows St. Jude Medical to seamlessly integrate with several leading EHR providers. The Auto EHRDirect Export feature includes automated downloads, integrating data directly into the practice workflow and making the patient management process more efficient.

The Merlin.net PCN version 5.0 software features additional usability improvements that save time and make the system easier to learn. The One Screen Follow-up capability supports faster and more in-depth review of recent transmissions, creating a more streamlined workflow. This upgrade also accelerates follow-ups by enabling physicians to review and print patient information, view follow-up reports and schedule appointments all from one page.“Our intention with these Merlin.net PCN updates is to make the collection and utilization of patient and device data as convenient as possible for physicians managing patients with complex cardiac conditions,” said Eric S. Fain, M.D., president of the St. Jude Medical Cardiac Rhythm Management Division. “As hospitals are increasingly focused on implementing robust EHR systems, this upgrade shows our commitment to offering physicians the technology necessary to provide efficient and secure solutions for the transfer of health data into those systems.”

About the Merlin.net Patient Care Network (PCN)

Implantable cardiac devices are designed to capture and record information about patient heart rhythms, device therapy and device performance that is vital to patient care. The Merlin.net PCN organizes this information for fast analysis and easy review and allows data to be sent directly to a clinic's or a hospital's EHR system so the data are included in the patient's comprehensive personal health record.

With immediate access to patient information through the secure Merlin.net PCN website, physicians can remotely monitor and assess patient device data and determine the level of care needed. Alert notification delivery times can be customized to fit in with physician determined clinic hours, including any after-hours processes the clinic might provideThe data transferred to the Merlin.net PCN is fully encrypted and meets or exceeds all applicable national data privacy and security requirements in every country where the system is used. In addition, BSI Management Systems, an international standards testing, registration and certification organization, has awarded St. Jude Medical the information security certification ISO/IEC 27001:2005. This ISO certification, a stringent worldwide information security standard, recognizes that St. Jude Medical's Merlin.net PCN has established processes and standards that maintain the strictest levels of confidentiality, integrity and availability for its customers. The Merlin.net PCN was the first medical device data network to be recognized with this certification.

About St. Jude Medical

St. Jude Medical develops medical technology and services that focus on putting more control into the hands of those who treat cardiac, neurological and chronic pain patients worldwide. The company is dedicated to advancing the practice of medicine by reducing risk wherever possible and contributing to successful outcomes for every patient. St. Jude Medical is headquartered in St. Paul, Minn. and has four major focus areas that include: cardiac rhythm management, atrial fibrillation, cardiovascular and neuromodulation. For more information, please visit sjm.com.