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Home Monitoring of Heart Device May Be Safe

Studies Show Remote Monitoring of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators May Extend Battery Life

Cost May Be an Issue

Commenting on the studies, American Heart Association (AHA) spokeswoman Mariell Jessup, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania, says that reducing inappropriate shocks and medication use is "really important, as that's what we as doctors want to avoid."

Still, there may be cost concerns with the routine use of home monitoring, she tells WebMD.

AHA President Gordon Tomaselli, MD, of Johns Hopkins University, says that at least in the short-term, he expects home monitoring to raise costs.

Noting that his practice already remotely monitors patients who live far away, he says, "we get a boatload of data every day, potentially every heartbeat."

As a result, "more staff that can catch and interpret the ICD data and feed it to the doctors is needed," Tomaselli tells WebMD. "And that costs money."

This study was presented at a medical conference. The findings should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

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