CardioNet is the first company in the world to introduce mobile cardiac telemetry, the ability to monitor and transmit patients' ECG's continuously and automatically as they go about their normal daily activities at home, at work, commuting, even when playing sports. CardioNet developed both the wireless cardiac monitoring technology and 24/7 response capability that allows physicians to better diagnose and treat patients with cardiac arrhythmias, which often occur too infrequently to be detected during office or ER examinations.
With CardioNet mobile cardiac telemetry, which is prescribed by the patient's physician, patients wear a sensor, invisible under clothing, that transmits each heartbeat to a PDA-sized monitor. If the monitor detects an abnormal heartbeat, it automatically transmits the patient's ECG to the CardioNet Monitoring Center, using wireless communications when the patient is away from home and normal telephone lines when the patient is at home.
Certified cardiovascular technicians in the CardioNet Monitoring Center analyse the transmissions 24/7 and respond appropriately. Routine response involves issuing daily telemetry reports to the physician, accessible by fax or Internet. Urgent events may require immediate physician and patient notification and, when necessary, assistance in obtaining Emergency Medical Services.
CardioNet received FDA marketing approval for its system in February of 2002, and began offering its monitoring service in the Philadelphia area in August 2002. Since that time, the company has served thousands of patients, helped to save many lives and assisted physicians in diagnosing and treating serious cardiac problems that otherwise might not have been found. In some cases, CardioNet has automatically detected potentially life-threatening problems that patients themselves were unable to feel, and helped direct them to the hospital for treatment.
In a study presented in May at the 2003 NASPE Heart Rhythm Society Scientific Sessions, physicians described their clinical experience with the first 100 patients treated with CardioNet Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry (MCOT). A highlight of the study was that, in 53 percent of patients previously unsuccessfully monitored with conventional outpatient monitoring methods - Holter and event recording - CardioNet mobile cardiac telemetry detected serious problems requiring a change in treatment.
"In most cases, patients cannot feel the events when they are occurring - an arrhythmia may only occur once or twice a week - it may even happen during sleep", stated James M. Sweeney, CardioNet's Chairman and CEO. "We have developed a unique monitoring system that watches the heart through every beat during the normal stresses and strains of the week, and automatically transmits events when they occur. That's why we are catching so many problems that have previously been missed."
For patients, the consequences of an undetected cardiac rhythm problem can be extremely serious. Atrial fibrillation, a cardiac rhythm problem that affects approximately 2,3 million people in the United States, is a leading cause of stroke. Undetected and untreated cardiac rhythm problems are also the leading cause of Sudden Cardiac Death, which kills 400.000 Americans annually. With prompt diagnosis and treatment, deaths and disability resulting from cardiac arrhythmia could be significantly reduced.
CardioNet mobile cardiac telemetry is currently available in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Indiana, Ohio and the District of Columbia. The company is in the process of opening operations in the Midwest and has plans to expand throughout the country in 2003. CardioNet is a private, venture-backed company. Its investors include Hambrecht & Quist Capital Management, Sanderling, Inglewood Ventures, BioFrontier Partners, IDEO, Guidant Corporation and Foundation Medical Partners.