Patient Empowered Care

By Guest Blogger: Marlou Janssen, President, BIOTRONIK, Inc.

Marlou Janssen, President, BIOTRONIK, Inc.

With an emphasis on prevention and early detection, people today are living longer, healthier lives. Patients and caregivers have taken an active role in healthcare, managing lifestyles and helping guide medical decisions. As we continue to progress in a patient-centered healthcare system that empowers individuals to be decision-makers driving care forward, knowledge is critical.

In the United States, approximately 85.6 million people are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke. There is significant likelihood that you, a family member or a loved one, will be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.  For example, arrhythmia—abnormal heart rhythm—is a common form of heart disease that impacts millions of Americans every year. In fact, more than 500,000 patients receive an insertable cardiac monitor, pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) every year as a result of abnormal heart rhythms. These devices prevent patients from experiencing catastrophic cardiac events such as sudden cardiac arrest or stroke, and help enable patients to truly experience everyday life and beyond.

However, for many years, patients with pacemakers and ICDs were unable to safely undergo MRI scans due to potential complications resulting from the MRI’s magnetic fields. These potential complications limited access to life-saving diagnostic tools and future care options for many patients.

Every year more than 34 million MRI scans are performed to diagnose illness and injury that occurs in soft tissue—cancer, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, aneurysms, multiple sclerosis. This diagnostic technology is essential to ensure the best possible quality of care in the future. Today, thanks to ongoing commitment to patient care, research and innovation, there are now pacemakers, ICDs and insertable cardiac monitors that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use during MRI scans.

If you or a loved one have or are considering a cardiac device, talk to your physician. Learn about your device and understand the role it will play in future healthcare decisions. Ask questions about a device’s capabilities and gather details to make an informed decision.

The patient care continuum is ongoing. Care must always extend beyond the device, procedure and physician office throughout a lifetime. Every single patient deserves a commitment to care. At BIOTRONIK, we stand with patients and physicians, and commit to the future—a future powered by innovative, tested medical solutions that keep patients out of the hospital and living life. We’re proud to support the American Heart Association’s mission to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke by working together to educate the public about the importance of making informed healthcare decisions, and supporting advances in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within our guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

The American Heart Association’s blog is not intended to provide medical advice or treatment. Only your healthcare provider can provide that. The American Heart Association recommends that you consult your healthcare provider regarding your personal health matters. If you think you are having a heart attack, stroke or another emergency, please call 911 immediately.

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