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New cardiac resynchronization device enables physicians and patients to partner in health care via the internet

BUFFALO, NEW YORK; MARCH 23, 2006-Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation is among the first in the nation to implant a CONTAK RENEWAL® 3 RF cardiac resynchronization therapy device (CRT-D). ECMC is also the first to bring this technology to the Buffalo community, and among the first in New York State to perform an implant using this device.

The device, manufactured by Guidant Corporation, is similar to a pacemaker in design but slightly larger. It is implanted under the skin near the collarbone and is connected to leads that are fixed to specific areas within the heart. The implant procedure usually takes about two hours and is done under anesthesia.

The wireless device can be used with the LATITUDE® Patient Management system, which now allows patients and physicians to conduct wireless, automatic device data uploads from the comfort and convenience of the patient's home. Wireless, automatic data uploads are designed to make the device and patient follow-up process easy for patients and more efficient and effective for physicians.

ECMC cardiologist Chee Kim, M.D., recently implanted the device during a procedure at ECMC. Dr. Kim, who specializes in Electrophysiology (EP) believes that this new wireless device offers several advantages over the standard system. "Due to the wireless capability of this device, there is no need to break the sterile field with a telemetry wand (traditionally necessary for device communication) during the procedure. This technology now gives us the ability to improve patient care by being able to monitor the patient's condition from the comfort of their home," said Kim.

LATITUDE Patient Management is convenient for patients and physicians during the implant, at the clinic, and in the home. At implant, the wireless programmer is designed to save physicians time with data collection and programming speeds that are three times faster than Guidant's previous programmer. It also allows removal of the programming wand, previously necessary for device communication, from the sterile implant field. In the clinic, access to patient data and a digital archive collected by the LATITUDE Communicator are readily available from a secure web site. The Internet-based system provides robust reporting capabilities, and facilitates scheduling of device data downloads. In the home, a monitoring unit automatically and ‘wirelessly' reads implantable device information at intervals specified by the patient's physician. A key feature of the Communicator is LATITUDE Active MonitoringTM. This feature delivers confidence and assurance by performing a device check every day, for the life of the device.

Recently released ACC (American College of Cardiology) / AHA (American Hospital Association) revised guidelines specifically address the benefit of blood pressure and weight monitoring in heart failure patients. The Guidant device and feature set also includes optional LATITUDE Heart Failure Management Tools, offering wireless access to patient diagnostic information of known clinical value, including weight scale and blood pressure data.

The Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation encompasses an advanced academic medical center with 550 inpatient beds and 156 skilled nursing home beds, on- and off-campus health centers, over 40 outpatient specialty care clinics, and the Erie County Home, a 586-bed skilled nursing facility. The medical center serves as the regional center for trauma, burn, rehabilitation, and a major teaching facility for the State University of New York at Buffalo. The ECMC Corporation is Western New York's hospital of choice through excellence in patient care and customer service.

NEWS CONTACT: Joe Cirillo at 716-898-4300 or jcirillo@ecmc.edu

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