Remote heart monitoring technology studied at Southampton

Heart experts at Southampton's teaching hospitals have received a £3.8m grant to launch the first major study of remote monitoring technology. The devices, which can be implanted under the skin of people suffering from heart failure, collect information on a patient's health while at home and send details via the internet to the hospital clinic. If doctors notice a change in wellbeing, they can intervene early and often prevent hospital admission. The project, funded by industry and the British Heart Foundation, will be the first comprehensive assessment of the technology in a broad clinical setting and will be led by top cardiologist, Professor John Morgan; one of the first specialists to introduce the hi-tech kit at Southampton General Hospital six years ago. "If you can tell that that a patient is becoming ill, you can do something in terms of their treatment before they get so unwell that they need to come to a clinic or be admitted to hospital," he said. The project will involve 2,000 patients at nine centres across the UK and will clarify concerns raised by small-scale remote monitoring studies which suggest potential disadvantages, such as unnecessary interventions or the use of ineffective medications.

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