Medtronic has offered a new M-Link cellular accessory, which provides cardiac device patients with an option to securely send information stored in their implanted devices to their clinics via the CareLink Network using cellular signals, rather than a telephone landline.

The simplified connection to the Medtronic CareLink Network enables clinicians to remotely monitor more patients who are implanted with cardiac devices.

Medtronic said that the introduction of the M-Link cellular accessory shows the benefits of remote monitoring for patients and their physicians. Results from Medtronic’s Connect trial are presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions in March 2010.

The results showed that cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator (CRT-D) and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) patients monitored through the CareLink Network experienced a reduction in time from clinical event to clinical decision. They also benefitted from shorter hospital stays and reduced costs per hospitalisation.

The M-Link cellular accessory provides patients with a convenient option to stay connected with their clinic from home, work, or while traveling globally. The M-Link cellular accessory securely connects to any CareLink Patient Monitor and allows patients to transmit data from their implanted device directly to their clinic through the secure CareLink Network.

It also allows Medtronic CareAlert Notifications to be transmitted when any of the programmable alert conditions from a patient’s implanted device has occurred. Physicians and nurses can view the transmitted data through a secure web site, giving them the opportunity for a ‘real-time’ look at how the patient’s device is functioning. The information transmitted is comparable to that provided during an in-clinic device follow-up visit.

Pat Mackin, president of the cardiac rhythm disease management business and senior vice president at Medtronic, said: “The M-Link cellular accessory is making remote monitoring accessible to a greater number of eligible patients. Now patients without a telephone landline have a convenient option to access the CareLink Network and take advantage of the benefits that come with remote monitoring, including fewer in-clinic visits and peace of mind from knowing their device data can be transmitted using cellular technology, without the need for a landline.”