What Is an Implantable Cardiac Monitor?
Implantable cardiac monitors, including BioMonitor 2, and BIOMONITOR III are mini-electrocardiogram (ECG) devices that continuously record the heart’s rhythm. They automatically detect any irregularities and store clinically relevant data.
That data is transmitted wirelessly via the BIOTRONIK Home Monitoring® patient device (called Cardiomessenger), ultimately reaching cardiac clinic at the hospital. The Cardiac Physiologist team or Physician will be able to see if there any and what kind of irregular heartbeats – arrhythmias – may have occurred. This information is crucial to identify the cause of the patient’s discomfort and decide on the best course of treatment (if any).
The procedure to insert an implantable cardiac (heart) monitor (ICM) like BIOMONITOR III is performed under local anaesthetic in the hospital, and only takes a few minutes. To insert the BIOMONITOR III, a physician, nurse or physiologist will make a very small incision (1-1.5cm long) in the upper chest. Then they will insert the cardiac monitor with a specially designed injection tool. Sometimes the patient feels a little push. After a cardiac monitor is placed successfully, the physician, nurse or physiologist will ensure the device is safely under the skin and close with either skin glue, a stitch or steri strips (small strips of white plaster).
After the short and simple procedure, and you feel ready, you will usually go home the same day. Listen carefully to the cardiac team, and follow their instructions on how to care for your wound.
At home, monitor how the incision is healing. You may feel a little bruised so you may wish to restrict large movements in your arms until the wound is completely healed. BIOMONITOR III is a small device with a flexible antenna that adapts to your body’s natural shape. Most patients get used to it quickly and soon cease to notice it. The device battery is designed to last 4 years but your cardiac team will monitor this either in the hospital or via a monitor give to you to take home.
Your cardiac team may give you a “Patient Activator” that allows you to store an ECG whenever you experience symptoms. Place it over the implant, press the button, and the BIOMONITOR III will store the event in the device. You should seek medical attention if you feel very unwell. You will also have access to a Patient App where you can keep an electronic diary (available via iPhone App Store or Android) - ask your cardiac team for more details should you wish to use this function).
After the BIOMONITOR III insertion procedure, patients can typically return to normal activities immediately. BIOMONITOR III is protected against magnetic fields and electromagnetic radiation from other devices, so you may use usual household tools and devices without hesitation. BIOMONITOR III includes ProMRI® technology, so patients may undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans - please let the MRI team know you have this device before any scans.
If you have questions about your cardiac (heart) monitor, do not hesitate to contact the your hospital.