Implantable Cardiac Monitors
Implantable cardiac monitors ( also referred to as ICM) are small devices that are inserted under the skin of a patient to continuously monitor the patient’s electrocardiogram (ECG). The idea with Implantable Cardiac monitors is to provide a more convenient way to analyze the heart rhythm for a longer period lasting up to 36 months. Implantable Cardiac Monitors are small in size comparable to a USB memory stick or the newest implantable cardiac monitor technology is the size of a golf tee.
Implantable Cardiac Monitors are used in rare cases where traditional external cardiac monitors are not sufficient. These cases can include transient symptoms that suggest cardiac arrhythmias such as unexplained syncope or transient heart palpitations. Implantable Cardiac Monitors are also indicated in cases of unexplained fainting or falling suspected in connection to cardiac arrhythmias. For more information, click When to Order an Implantable Cardiac Monitor.
The patient data that is captured by the Implantable Cardiac Monitor is generally stored internally until interrogated (extracted) by an external device. This follow-up procedure to assess the captured information is generally performed in the office or device clinic of a medical facility.
However, there is newer Implantable Cardiac Monitor technology that can not only automatically capture, but automatically transmit the ECG information to an external device that can communicate to a medical facility at the time of the occurrence. The newer Implantable Cardiac Monitor devices have auto detection technology can record arrhythmic activity which is useful to study asymptomatic arrhythmias such as Atrial Fibrillation and high risk ventricular arrhythmias. This new automated technology is exciting as it provides an efficient means of long term remote monitoring that can theoretically reduce costs, expedite time to diagnosis and improve patient compliance with the study.