Freeman first in region to offer latest cardiac monitoring technology

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - Freeman first in region to offer latest cardiac monitoring technology
JOPLIN, Mo. – Physicians at nationally ranked Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute are the first in the region to offer their patients a tiny, implantable device that is life-changing – and potentially life-saving – for those in need of cardiac monitoring. Medtronic Reveal LINQ™, one-third the size of a AAA battery and nearly invisible to the eye once inserted into a person’s chest, is the smallest cardiac monitoring system of its kind, providing continuous, wireless monitoring of a patient’s heart for up to three years.


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“It’s not uncommon for a patient to come to us having dealt for years with undiagnosed fainting spells or unexplained strokes,” said Dr. John Cox, Freeman Cardiologist. “For them, this device is a game-changer.”

Medtronic Reveal LINQ is available for patients who experience symptoms such as dizziness, palpitations, fainting and chest pain – all indicators of a cardiac arrhythmia. These spells can be hard to diagnosis, said Dr. Cox, because by the time the patient arrives at an emergency room, the spell has often passed. Other patients who benefit from Medtronic Reveal LINQ are those who suffer from undiagnosed stroke. Research shows that the heart is frequently the cause for stroke.

Inserted during a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that requires 5 minutes or less, Medtronic Reveal LINQ is implanted just beneath the skin on the upper left side of the chest through a small incision less than 1 centimeter in length. The device is small enough that most would never know it is there, said Dr. Cox. Those who have it are able to go about their life without interruption or modification.

Medtronic Reveal LINQ utilizes any available cell phone network to transmit cardiac data to Medtronic, which then relays the data to Freeman physicians who assess whether or not a heart abnormality is the cause for the patient’s condition. The technology continually transmits the data for up to three years.
In the past, physicians had no monitoring tool to determine if the heart was the cause of a stroke, said Dr. Cox. Monitors were available to determine if the heart was the culprit behind fainting or dizziness spells, but those devises were either much larger – requiring a more invasive procedure to insert them – or required stickers placed on the skin that gathered data for a mere three weeks.

“This small device will have a very real impact on our patients,” said Paula Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. “Imagine searching for months or even years for the cause an ailment. With this tiny piece of equipment, Freeman will be able to make a big difference for many of our patients. The fact that the device is inserted through a minimally invasive procedure makes Medtronic Reveal LINQ even more astounding.”

Freeman’s cardiac care was ranked among the top 10 percent in the nation for medical excellence by CareChex®, a division of Comparion® Medical Analytics. In addition, CareChex ranked Freeman’s cardiac care 223 out of thousands of hospital cardiac care facilities across the country. Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute offers a heart-care program that parallels those found at top-ranked facilities across the country. Celebrating its 15th year, the institute’s eight physicians provide services that include preventive care, emergency interventions, diagnostics, open-heart surgeries, rehabilitation, cardiology clinics and education. Recognized by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri as a Blue Distinction Center® for Cardiac Care, Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute provides all cardiac services in one convenient location, featuring three state-of-the-art operating suites and four cardiovascular catheterization labs.

About Freeman Health System
Locally owned and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. A not-for-profit health system, Freeman provides cancer care, heart and vascular care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services, and women’s services and has more than 300 physicians on staff. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit freemanhealth.com or facebook.com/freemanhealthsystem or follow Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker at twitter.com/freemanceo.