Hamilton Health Sciences is testing new technology that allows heart patients to be monitored from home

It’s a glimpse into the future of surgical care. A team at Hamilton General Hospital are using technology to monitor heart surgery patients who are recovering in the comfort of their own home. They’re the first in Ontario to try these new techniques.

A remote monitoring device it’s hooked up to patients, like 87 year old Billy Hope who have undergone a transcatheter aortic valve implantation. The doctors have called the procedure “tavi”.

“25 years ago they couldn’t fix this unless it was open heart, it’s really advanced.”

Within 24 hours after a minimally invasive surgery at the General using a thin tube to position the new valve, Hope was in the hospital on Thursday and out recovering at home on Friday.

Dr. Madhu Natarajan and his cardiology team monitor their heart patients live through the device and can detect any complications.

“If we found a really severe problem we ask them to come into hospital, or if we find something we can manage and bring them into hospital a couple of days later or the clinic that’s a non-urgent activation.”

This is groundbreaking for seniors who typically can’t handle an open heart surgery.

The technology for this project was developed with the help of a provincial innovation grant of $500 000.

“Currently we are the only hospital in the province that is doing this project, but our hope is to expand it to all centers that are providing tavi in Ontario through other grant mechanisms.”

They predict that over the next two years, 3 out of 4 patients over the age of 75 will have this new treatment rather than open heart surgery.


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