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Insertable Cardiac Monitors Help Detect AFib in Patients with Long COVID

Abbott Cardiac Rhythm Management | August 25, 2022
afib and covid

Patients who are battling the lingering effects of long COVID struggle with a host of complications –fatigue, brain fog, shortness of breath, dizziness – but that dizziness, also one of the many symptoms of heart arrhythmia, could be a sign of something even more complicated.

Studies have shown that patients who have contracted COVID, even if they aren’t symptomatic, are at a higher risk for developing heart arrhythmias, particularly atrial fibrillation (AFib), one of four various types of arrhythmias.1

AFib is the most common type of arrhythmia and affects nearly 33.5 million people worldwide. It puts impacted patients at higher risk for medical complications such as blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other cardiac conditions, and it is associated with a 3x higher risk of heart failure and 5x greater risk of stroke.

Early detection is essential to maintaining patient health and linking them to care sooner, providing potentially life-saving interventions and treatment plans. Detecting AFib or any other arrhythmia before it becomes more problematic significantly improves the success of patient outcomes.

One way to detect AFib and other arrhythmias in patients who have had COVID is by monitoring. This is easily accomplished with the use of a wearable device, such as a smartwatch. But while smartwatch data can be a useful and effective tool, the use of these wearable devices does present some drawbacks and limitations. For instance, a smartwatch can’t tell just how at risk a patient may be.

afib and covid

Also, those who characteristically wear a smartwatch typically are not those who are most at risk. Instead, they tend to be younger and healthier. Therefore, although the technology is effective, it is not effectively serving the targeted population.

Another consideration is that while smartwatches may be effective in detecting AFib, they are not as effective for detecting other types of arrhythmias, such as Tachy, Brady, and Pause, which also present risks to patients.2

For these reasons, physicians may want to consider transitioning this at-risk population from utilizing wearable technology to the next step in monitoring – an insertable device.

Unlike a wearable that a patient may forget to strap onto their wrist every morning, an ICM collects data in a passive, recurrent, and comprehensive manner, sending the information gathered directly to the patient’s HCP or clinic and making transmission of data from patient to clinic continual and seamless.

Abbott’s Insertable Cardiac Monitors(ICM), such as Jot Dx™ ICM and Confirm Rx™ ICM, can help diagnose the cause of post-COVID symptoms like dizziness and fatigue by monitoring heart rhythms and securely sending that valuable information directly to the HCP or clinic, providing them with the information they need to properly evaluate each patient and create an effective treatment plan.

Devices are inserted with a quick and painless procedure that takes less than 15 minutes.

Abbott has compiled resources to help HCPs explain how Jot Dx monitors a patient’s heart continuously, without interrupting their lifestyle, while the myMerlin™ mobile app with SyncUP™ support records symptoms and automatically sends information needed for an accurate diagnosis directly to the clinic, delivering life-saving information continuously from a patient’s smartphone.

Patients with a need for an ICM will have questions about their device and their health. That’s why Abbott has curated many resources to help healthcare professionals educate their patients about the advantages and features of the Jot Dx ICM with SharpSense™ Technology.

Once a patient has been implanted with the Jot Dx ICM, there are many tools available to help them get the most out of their device. Abbott’s SyncUP service helps to ensure Jot Dx ICM implanted patients are properly connected to the myMerlin app. Data shows an impressive 97% of patients are compliant with the app.3 This compliance, combined with the SyncUP support service, ensures a continuous flow of accurate information. The process is simple and designed to alleviate any patient hesitation, reluctance, or fear.

Jot Dx patient Marlene is just one example of a successful outcome that can be shared with other patients to show how they, too, may live longer and better lives with an ICM implantation. She shares how Jot Dx has given her and her family peace of mind and hope for the future. After experiencing her first cardiac event at age 38, this great-grandmother is now living a full life into her 70s.

HCPs with patients who may benefit from an ICM may direct their patients to our informative resources to learn more about Jot Dx, including videos that detail how to use the myMerlin app, as well as testimonials that tell how the device improved a patient’s quality of life.

Dealing with the lingering effects of long-term COVID and resulting AFib can be overwhelming and scary for patients and challenging for their healthcare providers, but take the first step – find out whether Jot Dx ICM or Confirm Rx ICM is the right solution. Doctors and patients can find more information and resources about AFib at AFanswers.com.

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  1. Mitrani RD, Dabas N, Goldberger JJ. COVID-19 cardiac injury: Implications for long-term surveillance and outcomes in survivors. Heart Rhythm. 2020;17(11):1984-1990. doi:10.1016/j.hrthm.2020.06.026
  2. Burke J, Haigney MCP, Borne R, Krantz MJ. Smartwatch detection of ventricular tachycardia: Case series. HeartRhythm case reports. 2020;6(10):800-804. doi:10.1016/j.hrcr.2020.08.003
  3. Piorkowski C, Shaik NA, Tilz RR, et al. Early Real-World Adoption of Mobile Remote Monitoring Using Confirm Rx Insertable Cardiac Monitor. Presented at Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS); Taipei, Taiwan; Oct 17-20, 2

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