PDSHeart moving into pacemaker monitoring services with acquisition of Physicians' CardioTrace

Atlanta 09 July 2003PDSHeart LLC, an expert in the delivery of cardiac telemedicine, is further expanding its pacemaker monitoring services in the Midwest, with the acquisition of the business of Physicians' CardioTrace Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio. The strategic alliance allows PDSHeart to combine its commitment to quality and technological expertise with the long-standing reputation of Physicians' CardioTrace for premium remote cardiac and pacemaker monitoring services.

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PDSHeart is the first telemedicine company to be accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organisations (JCAHO) and is the United States' second largest provider of cardiac event monitoring services. It provides physician-prescribed remote and ambulatory care monitoring of non-symptomatic, symptomatic and post-surgical cardiac patients, via landline, cellular telephone and the Internet. PDSHeart's WebHolter is the industry's first Web-based digital Holter system.

Sean Heyniger, PDSHeart president and CEO, explained that pacemaker monitoring is a growing market need, one well suited to PDSHeart's services. "Telemonitoring of pacemaker devices is more and more technologically complex because of the complexity of the devices themselves. They require closer surveillance today than ever to assure patients that their devices are functioning properly and to respond quickly to any manufacturers' recalls or advisories."

"PDSHeart's technology infrastructure is designed to keep pace with these demands", Mr. Heyniger stated. "Plus physicians have easy on-line access to their patients' results in near real-time."

Since 1984, Physicians' CardioTrace has provided pacemaker and arrhythmia monitoring services to physicians and their patients in the Midwest area. CEO Nancy Finkelmeier, RN, stated: "PDSHeart's approach is well in line with the solid reputation earned by Physicians' CardioTrace's outstanding team of cardiac specialists over the years. This alignment creates exciting growth opportunities for both companies, and for an even higher level of service to our customers."

Mr. Heyniger explained that PDSHeart is focused on advancing the state of telemedicine with cutting-edge technology delivered according to the highest quality and clinical care. "Physicians' CardioTrace shares that commitment. As one of the oldest trans-telephonic cardiac monitoring companies, it has distinguished itself by delivering the high level service expected by its referring physicians", he stated. "This level of service is consistent with our model."

Mr. Heyniger claimed that Physicians' CardioTrace pacemaker monitoring will be handled at PDSHeart's state-of-the-art monitoring centre in Conyers, Georgia. Overall, PDSHeart services 4000 clinics, 12.000 doctors, 110 hospitals and 30 universities nationwide.

PDSHeart is also starting a major expansion of its cardiac monitoring services in Texas and named three experienced medical equipment regional managers to spearhead the company's sales efforts in the state. Named were Brad Blum, Houston; George Johnson, Dallas; and Thomas Martin, San Antonio.

"Our team in Texas has the dedication to quality and service that we seek in all phases of our operations", stated Mr. Heyniger. "The advantages of remote monitoring for cardiologists, hospitals and large group practices using PDSHeart services are significant. They are able to make more accurate diagnoses because data is captured in real time while their patients are at home, work or play. In addition, telemedicine reduces patient costs and increases incremental revenue for the practice."

Because the monitoring happens in near real time, PDSHeart also can immediately alert the physician or, if unavailable, local paramedics in the event of a life-threatening situation. The company has been credited with saving thousands of patient's lives. In undergoing JCAHO accreditation, PDSHeart decided to subject its operations and procedures to the strictest scrutiny a health care organisation can undergo.

"Although demanding, the process insured we built a solid infrastructure for providing quality patient care and improving performance. We intend to keep raising the bar, and challenge others in our industry to follow", added Mr. Heyniger.

The company's pager-sized cardiac event monitors, its flagship product, are typically prescribed for 30 days. They enable a patient to record a cardiac event when there is the potential of a heart problem, such as palpitations or dizziness. Patients then transmit the data via telephone to PDSHeart's 24/7-hour monitoring centre staffed by certified cardiac technicians. The data is immediately converted to a traditional EKG format displayed on a computer screen and a report is faxed and/or Web published on a secure site for use by the patient's physician within minutes.

PDSHeart also provides WebHolter.com, the first Web-based generation of traditional Holter monitors, which record heart activity over a 24-hour period. The company intends to remain at the forefront of diagnostic telemedicine, Mr. Heyniger concluded. More news is available in the VMW June 2003 article PDSHeart remote monitoring provider calls for new telemedicine standards for quality and service.


Leslie Versweyveld

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