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YOUR HEALTH: Cardiologists can now put your health on their phone

For some patients, an implantable device has been an option for doctors to keep a close eye on the pressures inside a patient’s heart.

NEW YORK CITY – Dorris Jenkins has been living with heart failure for the past two years.

"It's like your heart is going like this, and you can't breathe."

Dorris spent a full month in the hospital.    Then for the next year, she was readmitted almost every two weeks.

Transplant cardiologist Dr. Sumeet Mitter felt Dorris would be a good candidate for CardioMems.

Doctors thread a catheter through a leg vein and deploy the device near the heart.

Every morning, patients lie on a special pillow which transmits the readings to their cardiologist's smart phone.

"If she's having a bad day I can log in and see, 'Hey are her pressures going up?'" said Dr. Mitter of the Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology department at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital.

That way, Dr. Mitter can adjust her medication immediately.

Dorris says the monitoring system also discourages her from eating salty foods.

"He said, 'You know Ms. Jenkins, if you eat a bag of potato chips today, I'll know tomorrow' and I said 'Yeah right!' Sure enough. you eat a bag of potato chips today, he will know in the morning."

Six million adult Americans have heart failure: a condition where the heart can't circulate blood as well as it should.

Researchers studied 1,200 Medicare patients and found a 58% reduction in hospitalizations one year after implant and a reduction in costs of more than $13,000 per patient.

Doctors say the monitoring system has kept Dorris on track.

"Since February 2018 after the implant she has not been admitted to the hospital once," said DR. Mitter.

The results of an FDA post approval study presented at the American College of Cardiology Sessions showed that patients were almost 100% free from complications related to the device.

The device was first FDA approved in May 2014.

Researchers say obese patients and those who live far from a hospital would also be likely to benefit from the implant.

If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.