GAME CHANGER: NEW SMART HEART MONITOR

 

Super excited to tell you about a new smart heart monitor you can use at home. It will help 28 million heart disease patients in the U.S. keep track of their heart.

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Keep track from the comfort of their home at any time. And it’s just been FDA approved.

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Meet Eko DUO.  The first handheld mobile, wireless, EHR-connected stethoscope, which connects to your smart phone.

It allows you to amplify, visualize and record crystal clear heart and lung sounds.

Imagine not needing to wait for your next followup appointment to transmit a concern to your physician. It works under the supervision or prescription from a physician.

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Eko Duo is set to help millions of heart disease patients who are often discharged with little more than an info packet and instructions to monitor their weight.

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Now patients can be sent home from the hospital with a direct link back to their physician, helping reduce readmissions and false alarms.

“The goal is to bring hospital-quality care to the home.”
Connor Landgraf, CEO and co-founder, Eko DUO

The device wirelessly pairs with Eko’s secure, HIPAA-compliant app, enabling remote monitoring and diagnosis by a clinician or specialist.

It works with the Eko app on any iPhone, iPad, Windows PC or Android device.

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Eko DUO can also be used by clinicians as an enhanced stethoscope for in-clinic cardiac screenings, enabling physicians to quickly diagnose and monitor patients.

Clinicians can use it bedside or remotely to quickly spot heart abnormalities including arrhythmias, heart murmurs, and valvular heart diseases.

I interviewed Ami Bhatt, M.D., a Cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Director of Outpatient Cardiology and the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and she believes Eko DUO will improve outcomes through early intervention.

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Dr. Bhatt says, “Cardiology programs are looking for ways to deliver hospital-quality healthcare at home.  The ability to capture digital heart sounds and an ECG expands our portfolio of mechanisms to remotely monitor the heart – and brings diagnosis and opportunities for early intervention even further upstream.” 

Heart disease can strike people of all ages.

I spoke with Stacy Bingham, a registered nurse from Oregon with 5 children, who knows this firsthand. She and her husband have no prior history of heart disease in their family, yet 3 of her 5 children end up needing heart transplants.

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When Stacy noticed her oldest child, Sierra acting tired with a loss of appetite for a few weeks, she never suspected the cause was an underlying heart condition.

“I noticed her face and eyes were swollen. She complained her stomach hurt.”

That’s when Stacy and her husband took her to a family practitioner.

“The doctor told us it’s probably a flu bug and sent us home. When her condition worsened she had an x-ray.”

X-ray results revealed Sierra’s heart was enlarged.  Dilated cardio myopathy. She later learned two of her other children also had heart problems.

“If they had not finally found Sierra’s heart condition, she may not have survived. We live in a really rural part of Eastern Oregon and we now have three kids with heart transplants that need to be monitored for life.”

Today, Stacy’s family takes nothing for granted, especially innovations that help.

“If this device can be used at home and we can rule out scary things and know when it’s not something we need to rush to a hospital for that would be wonderful.” –Stacy Bingham

James Young also knows how life can change in a heartbeat.

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Young was just 40-years-old when he first experienced symptoms of heart failure. Symptoms he ignored until they were severe and his sister insisted on it.

“I was coughing in mornings and throughout the day. I thought it was simply allergies. I vomited phlegm some mornings and still didn’t see a doctor.”

But the coughing became more painful. While shoveling, it stopped him in his tracks.

“I was outside shoveling snow when I turn behind me and  see a trail of blood.”

His sister noticed he didn’t look well and insisted he go see a physician.

“That’s when I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. I was shocked.”

James felt anxiety, depression and uncertainty about his future at this time. Young believes Eko DUO will not only help alleviate false alarms and unnecessary hospital readmissions, but needless worrying as well.

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“Eko DUO would have given me assurance the doctor knew where I stood daily. If there were any issues outstanding needing to be addressed immediately. It gives the doctor an opportunity to respond expeditiously to those concerns.”

Today, James is doing great and is a national spokesperson and heart failure Ambassador for the American Heart Association.

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“I went from a 25% functioning heart to being an avid runner and cycler. I’ve taken on a new lease in life. As a community advocate I can help inspire others and give them hope.”

Ami Bhatt, M.D says that hope also translates to much needed continuous care rather than outpatient care.

“Robust toolkits for caring for patients in the community will hopefully lead to more appropriate healthcare utilization through continuous rather than episodic outpatient care.”

HERE’S HOW EKO WAS DEVELOPED:

Eko’s co-founder & CEO, Connor Landgraf, is also a heart disease patient.

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Connor navigated countless cardiology visits, screenings and referrals.

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In 2013, during his senior year as at the University of California at Berkeley, Connor attended a panel discussion at UC San Francisco on technological shortcomings facing modern medical practices.

One technical gap cardiologists claimed stood out beyond the rest: the stethoscope.

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So Conner and his co-founders welcomed the stethoscope, a two-century old tool, into the 21st-century.

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Photo: Connor and his co-founders, Jason Bellet and Tyler Crouch

 

The newly FDA approved Eko DUO brings that to the next level.
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To learn more about this remarkable 21st Century technology we love visit:  http://www.ekodevices.com

 

 

Factoids:

  • According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.
    The American Heart Associations says the U.S. currently spends over $26 billion annually on heart failure hospitalization. 25% of heart failure patients are readmitted within 30 days — 50% are readmitted in 6 months with hospitals now being penalized for high readmission rates.
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  • Fact: 83% of parents experience anxiety surrounding their child’s referral to a pediatric cardiologist for an innocent murmur.
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  • Fact: Average cash price for an echocardiogram is $2,275 and even with insurance, patients can expect to pay 10 to 30% of this cost.
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  • Fact: For a pediatric subspecialist such as a pediatric cardiologist, patients must wait between 5 weeks and 3 months to get an appointment.
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  • Fact: Internal medicine residents misdiagnose more than 75% of cardiac events.
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  • Fact: 70% of all pediatric cardiac referrals for murmurs are unnecessary.
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  • Fact: Average PCP needs to coordinate care with 99 other physicians working across 53 practices.
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  • Fact: Only 50% of initial referrals are accompanied by information from the PCP.
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  • Fact: Patients in rural communities must travel an average of 56 miles to see a specialist.
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  • Fact: About 46.2 million people, or 15% of the U.S. population, reside in rural counties.

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Eko DUO.  A real game changer for heart patients worldwide.

http://www.ekodevices.com

 

 

Why Your Cholesterol Counts

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The first results from the survey Cholesterol Counts reveal how much Americans know about their individual cholesterol numbers and the risks associated with high LDL-C (bad cholesterol).
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Turns out, approximately 71 million Americans have high levels of LDL-C and many remain at risk for heart attacks and strokes.
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This is despite management with diet and medications.

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Cardiovascular events, including heart attacks and strokes, are the leading cause of death in the U.S.

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Cholesterol Counts is a collaboration between Sanofi US and Regeneron and leading patient and professional cardiovascular organizations Foundation of the National Lipid Association (FNLA), Mended Hearts and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) to gauge how much Americans know about cholesterol.

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Dr. Ralph Vicari and Michele Packard-Milam, discuss the state of cholesterol awareness in the U.S., gaps that exist in knowledge and what every American needs to know about controlling high cholesterol and in particular LDL-C (bad cholesterol).

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Michele is executive director of Mended Hearts and Mended Little Hearts. Mended Hearts is the largest peer-to-peer heart patient support organization in the world, making more than 215,000 visits to patients each year

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They also provide information on where patients and their families can find information and resources.

c13Produced for Sanofi US and Regeneron. 

 

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 ABOUT DR. RALPH M. VICARI

Ralph Vicari, MD has been a practicing Cardiovascular Disease specialist for 30 years in Melbourne, FL. He is certified by The American Board of Internal Medicine for Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease. Dr. Vicari is affiliated with the Orlando VA Medical Center and is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Central Florida. He has participated in over 200 studies in cardiovascular disease. He was awarded the Southeast Lipid Association President’s Award in 2013 for community service education.

Dr. Vicari received his medical degree from Loyola Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago. He completed an internal medicine residency at Georgetown University School of Medicine, as well as a cardiology fellowship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

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ABOUT MICHELE PACKARD-MILAM

Michele Packard-Milam, CAE is executive director of Mended Hearts and Mended Little Hearts. Mended Hearts is the largest peer-to-peer heart patient support organization in the world, making more than 215,000 visits to patients each year; Mended Little Hearts empowers families affected by congenital heart disease with support and education.

A Certified Association Executive (CAE) since 2006, Packard-Milam was previously executive director of Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association and held long tenures with Promotional Products Association International, the American Heart Association and Sara Lee. Packard-Milam brings broad experience in many areas of association and business development, including strategic planning, knowledge-based governance, corporate development, licensing, brand management, advertising and website strategy. She resides in Dallas with her husband of 34 years, three children (26, 23 and 17) and numerous flora and fauna.

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For more information about the program or to take the Cholesterol Counts Poll to get counted, visit www.CholesterolCounts.com.

Click here for interview with cardiovascular disease specialist, Dr. Ralph Vicari discussing the state of cholesterol awareness in the U.S.  http://bcove.me/vcodeqx4

 

 

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MARIA DORFNER is the founder of NewsMD Communications, LLC and Healthy Within Network (HWN).  This is her blog.  It attracts a wide audience from around the world.

Have a hot medical/health/wellness/fitness story idea or tip?  Or for Advertising or Sponsorship rates:

CONTACT: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

 

Interview with Steven Nissen, Cleveland Clinic’s Chairman of Heart Health

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February is American Heart Health Month…

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No better time to see how vital your heart health is…

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Turns out, men need more reminders than women…

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A recent Heart Health Survey by the Cleveland Clinic says men are LESS likely to take matters into their own hands…

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Men are less likely than women to change their diet…

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Even AFTER they’ve had personal experience with heart disease.

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Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at Cleveland Clinic is here to tell us why and what else you can do to take good care of your heart.

 

  • Steven E. Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio is a cardiologist, researcher and patient advocate.

LINK TO INTERVIEW:  http://we.tl/3UYWUxcc4N

 

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Fifty-two percent (52%) have tried a diet in the past year to potentially improve their heart health but chose the wrong diet. 

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And, among individuals who either have heart disease or have family members with heart disease the number jumps to 68 percent – with women more likely than men to change their diet due to personal experience (74% vs. 62%).

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Even though we know that a diet based on processed food, super-sized fast food, frozen food, fried food and all manner of snacks and desserts is not good for us – it is difficult for many to stick to heart healthy diet. 
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Of those surveyed the biggest culprit of unhealthy eating is the convenience of vending machines and/or fast food restaurants followed by lack of time and social gatherings.
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And, among those surveyed men are more likely to be negatively impacted by the convenience of unhealthy food options.
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While most dietary plans tell you what you can’t eat (usually your favorite foods!), the most powerful nutrition strategies help you focus on what you can and should eat.
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In fact, research has shown that adding certain foods to your diet is just as important as cutting back on others.
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There are several practical and easy-to follow diet and lifestyle changes that can help significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack as well as improve your overall health and well-being.
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·       Know your fats.  Recent research shows that trans-fats, also known as hydrogenated oils, are harmful, while monounsaturated fats particularly olive oil, appear healthy.
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Both polyunsaturated (most vegetable oils) and saturated fats (milk and meat) are neutral. The conventional advice suggesting that saturated fats, such as butter, are harmful doesn’t seem to hold up to careful scrutiny.
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·       Eat more unprocessed foods.  Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, fiber and decrease the number of desserts and sweets you eat to a few times per month.
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·       Moderation is key.  You can drink alcohol – just be sure to imbibe in moderation.
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·       Move!  Get moving and do it on a regular basis.
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·       Maintain.  Maintain or work to achieve a healthy body weight.
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·       Get cholesterol in check.  Be sure to get your cholesterol regularly.
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  • ABOUT STEVEN E. NISSEN:
    Nissen graduated high school from the Webb School of California and pursued his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan. He then went on to receive his medical degree from the University of Michigan School of Medicine in Ann Arbor. He completed his internal medicine internship and residency at the University of California, Davis in Sacramento, thereafter completed his cardiology fellowship at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington.

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  • Nissen produced the first images in humans in 1990 and began using IVUS to document the ubiquitous prevalence of coronary artery disease.Joining Cleveland Clinic in 1992, Nissen served as Vice-Chairman of the Department of Cardiology (1993–2002), Section Head of Clinical Cardiology (1992–2000) and Director of the Coronary Intensive Care Unit (1992–1997).

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  • Starting with linked COX-2 inhibitors, such as Vioxx (rofecoxib) in 2001, Nissen was one of the first physicians to link it to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.  In 2003 Nissen led a Journal of the American Medical Association study, producing evidence that five weekly infusions of ApoA-I Milano/phospholipids complex, a synthetic form of HDL, can possibly remove significant amounts of plaque from coronary arteries. A few years later, in 2005, Nissen re-analyzed the data related to the Bristol-Myers Squibb drug Pargluva (muraglitazar,), an experimental type 2 diabetes drug. In 2006, Dr. Nissen and his co-investigators reported on The ASTEROID trial (A Study to Evaluate the Effect of Rosuvastatin On Intravascular Ultrasound-Derived Coronary Atheroma Burden).
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Steven Nissen, MD, is the Chairman of the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute.

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He was appointed to this position in 2006 after serving nine years as Vice Chairman of the Department of Cardiology and five years as Medical Director of the Cleveland Clinic Cardiovascular Coordinating Center (C5), an organization that directs multicenter clinical trials.Dr. Nissen’s research during the last two decades has focused on the application of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) imaging to study the progression and regression of coronary atherosclerosis. He has served as International Principal Investigator for several large IVUS multicenter atherosclerosis trials.

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Specialty/Clinical interests: General cardiology, intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), diabetes and the heart, drug safety, coronary intensive care

Dr. Nissen has more than 35 years of experience as a physician. He is world-renowned for his work as a cardiologist, patient advocate and researcher. Equally as significant is his pioneering work in IVUS technology and its use in patients with atherosclerosis. 

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Publications and Speaking: Dr. Nissen has written more than 350 journal articles and 60 book chapters, including many published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. In recent years, he has also written on the subject of drug safety and was the author of manuscripts highlighting concerns about medications such as Vioxx™, Avandia™, and muraglitazar.
He has testified in both the Senate and the House of Representatives on the topic of drug safety as well as the need to reform the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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As a physician/scientist, Dr. Nissen is often called on by pharmaceutical companies to consult on the development of new therapies for cardiovascular disease. He maintains a long-standing personal policy that requires these companies to donate all related honoraria directly to charity.

Dr. Nissen is currently the editor of Current Cardiology Report.  In 2007, he was listed as Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World – Scientists and Thinkers.”

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He is heavily involved with the American College of Cardiology (ACC), serving as President from March 2006 to March 2007, a member of the ACC Executive Committee from 2004 to 2008, and spending 10 years as a member of the organization’s Board of Trustees. In addition, Dr. Nissen has served several terms on the Program Committee for the ACC Annual Scientific Sessions.

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Dr. Nissen served as a member of the CardioRenal Advisory Panel of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for five years, and as chair of the final year of his membership. He continues to serve as a periodic advisor to several FDA committees as a Special Government Employee.

Dr. Nissen frequently lectures at national and international meetings. He has served as visiting professor, or provided Grand Rounds, at nearly 100 institutions. 
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INTERVIEW with Dr. Steven Nissen http://we.tl/3UYWUxcc4N
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This interview is courtesy of Cleveland Clinic.
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mariabiancodorfner3   Maria Dorfner is the founder of NewsMD Communications and MedCrunch, a division of Healthy Within Network (HWN).