News Column

Patent Issued for System and Method for Prioritizing Medical Conditions

June 8, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Heart Disease Weekly -- Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc. (St. Paul, MN) has been issued patent number 8731648, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by NewsRx editors (see also Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc.).

The patent's inventor is Bardy, Gust (Carnation, WA).

This patent was filed on February 4, 2013 and was published online on May 20, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "The rising availability of networked digital communications means, particularly wide area networks (WANs), including public information internetworks such as the Internet, have made possible diverse opportunities for providing traditional storefront- or office-bound services through an automated and remote distributed system arrangement. For example, banking, stock trading, and even grocery shopping can now be performed on-line over the Internet. However, some forms of services, especially health care services which include disease diagnosis and treatment, require detailed and personal knowledge of the consumer/patient. The physiological data that would allow assessment of a disease has traditionally been obtained through the physical presence of the individual at the physician's office or in the hospital.

"Presently, important physiological measures can be recorded and collected for patients equipped with an external monitoring or therapeutic device, or via implantable device technologies, or recorded manually by the patient. If obtained frequently and regularly, these recorded physiological measures can provide a degree of disease detection and prevention heretofore unknown. For instance, patients already suffering from some form of treatable heart disease often receive an implantable pulse generator (IPG), cardiovascular or heart failure monitor, therapeutic device, or similar external wearable device, with which rhythm and structural problems of the heart can be monitored and treated. These types of devices are useful for detecting physiological changes in patient conditions through the retrieval and analysis of telemetered signals stored in an on-board, volatile memory. Typically, these devices can store more than thirty minutes of per heartbeat data recorded on a per heartbeat, binned average basis, or on a derived basis from which can be measured or derived, for example, atrial or ventricular electrical activity, minute ventilation, patient activity score, cardiac output score, mixed venous oxygen score, cardiovascular pressure measures, and the like. However, the proper analysis of retrieved telemetered signals requires detailed medical subspecialty knowledge in the area of heart disease, such as by cardiologists and cardiac electrophysiologists.

"Alternatively, these telemetered signals can be remotely collected and analyzed using an automated patient care system. One such system is described in a related, commonly assigned U.S. Pat. No. 6,312,378, issued Nov. 6, 2001, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference. A medical device adapted to be implanted in an individual patient records telemetered signals that are then retrieved on a regular, periodic basis using an interrogator or similar interfacing device. The telemetered signals are downloaded via an internetwork onto a network server on a regular, e.g., daily, basis and stored as sets of collected measures in a database along with other patient care records. The information is then analyzed in an automated fashion and feedback, which includes a patient status indicator, is provided to the patient.

"While such an automated system can serve as a valuable tool in providing remote patient care, an approach to systematically correlating and analyzing the raw collected telemetered signals, as well as manually collected physiological measures, through applied medical knowledge to accurately diagnose, order and prioritize multiple near-simultaneous health disorders, such as, by way of example, congestive heart failure, myocardial ischemia, respiratory insufficiency, and atrial fibrillation, is needed. As a case in point, a patient might develop pneumonia that in turn triggers the onset of myocardial ischemia that in turn leads to congestive heart failure that in turn causes the onset of atrial fibrillation that in turn exacerbates all three preceding conditions. The relative relationship of the onset and magnitude of each disease measure abnormality has direct bearing on the optimal course of therapy. Patients with one or more pre-existing diseases often present with a confusing array of problems that can be best sorted and addressed by analyzing the sequence of change in the various physiological measures monitored by the device.

"One automated patient care system directed to a patient-specific monitoring function is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,113,869 ('869) to Nappholz et al. The '869 patent discloses an implantable, programmable electrocardiography (ECG) patient monitoring device that senses and analyzes ECG signals to detect ECG and physiological signal characteristics predictive of malignant cardiac arrhythmias. The monitoring device can communicate a warning signal to an external device when arrhythmias are predicted. However, the Nappholz device is limited to detecting ventricular tachycardias. Moreover, the ECG morphology of malignant cardiac tachycardias is well established and can be readily predicted using on-board signal detection techniques. The Nappholz device is patient specific and is unable to automatically take into consideration a broader patient or peer group history for reference to detect and consider the progression or improvement of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, the Nappholz device is unable to automatically self-reference multiple data points in time and cannot detect disease regression. Also, the Nappholz device must be implanted and cannot function as an external monitor. Finally, the Nappholz device is incapable of tracking the cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary consequences of any rhythm disorder.

"Consequently, there is a need for an approach for remotely ordering and prioritizing multiple, related medical diseases and disorders using an automated patient collection and analysis patient care system. Preferably, such an approach would identify a primary or index disorder for diagnosis and treatment, while also aiding in the management of secondary disorders that arise as a consequence of the index event.

"There is a further need for an automated, distributed system and method capable of providing medical health care services to remote patients via a distributed communications means, such as a WAN, including the Internet. Preferably, such a system and method should be capable of monitoring objective 'hard' physiological measures and subjective 'soft' quality of life and symptom measures and correlating the two forms of patient health care data to order, prioritize and identify disorders and disease."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, NewsRx reporters also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "The present invention provides a system and method for remotely ordering and prioritizing multiple, near-simultaneous health disorders using an automated collection and analysis patient care system. The various physiological measures of individual patients are continuously monitored using implantable, external, or manual medical devices and the recorded physiological measures are downloaded on a substantially regular basis to a centralized server system. Derived measures are extrapolated from the recorded measures. As an adjunct to the device-recorded measures, the patients may regularly submit subjective, quality of life and symptom measures to the server system to assist identifying a change in health condition and to correlate with objective health care findings. Changes in patient status are determined by observing differences between the various recorded, derived and quality of life and symptom measures over time. Any changes in patient status are correlated to multiple disorder candidates having similar abnormalities in physiological measures for identification of a primary index disorder candidate.

"In one embodiment of the technology disclosed herein a method for providing an index disorder in automated patient care is taught. A set of device measures is stored in a database. Quantitative health care data indicators in the database are provided, where the indicators were regularly recorded by a medical device for a patient under automated patient care. Collected device measures are retrieved with a processor. An index disorder is identified through derived measure determination and statistical calculation with a processor.

"An embodiment of the present invention is an automated collection and analysis patient care system and method for ordering and prioritizing multiple health disorders to identify an index disorder. A plurality of monitoring sets is retrieved from a database. Each of the monitoring sets include stored measures relating to patient information recorded and derived on a substantially continuous basis. A patient status change is determined by comparing at least one stored measure from each of the monitoring sets to at least one other stored measure with both stored measures relating to the same type of patient information. Each patient status change is ordered in temporal sequence from least recent to most recent. A plurality of health disorder candidates categorized by quantifiable physiological measures of pathophysiologies indicative of each respective health disorder are evaluated and the health disorder candidate with the pathophysiology most closely matching those patient status changes which occurred least recently is identified as the index disorder, that is, the inciting disorder.

"The present invention provides a capability to detect and track subtle trends and incremental changes in recorded patient medical information for automated multiple near-simultaneous health disorder diagnosis and analysis. When coupled with an enrollment in a remote patient monitoring service having the capability to remotely and continuously collect and analyze external or implantable medical device measures, automated multiple health disorder diagnosis and analysis ordering and prioritizing become feasible.

"Another benefit is improved predictive accuracy from the outset of patient care when a reference baseline is incorporated into the automated diagnosis.

"A further benefit is an expanded knowledge base created by expanding the methodologies applied to a single patient to include patient peer groups and the overall patient population. Collaterally, the information maintained in the database could also be utilized for the development of further predictive techniques and for medical research purposes.

"Yet a further benefit is the ability to hone and improve the predictive techniques employed through a continual reassessment of patient therapy outcomes and morbidity rates.

"Other benefits include an automated, expert system approach to the cross-referral, consideration, and potential finding or elimination of other diseases and health disorders with similar or related etiological indicators.

"Still other embodiments of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, wherein is described embodiments of the invention by way of illustrating the best mode contemplated for carrying out the invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of other and different embodiments and its several details are capable of modifications in various obvious respects, all without departing from the spirit and the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the drawings and detailed description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature and not as restrictive."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Bardy, Gust. System and Method for Prioritizing Medical Conditions. U.S. Patent Number 8731648, filed February 4, 2013, and published online on May 20, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Therapy, Cardiology, Patient Care, Cardio Device, Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Medical Devices, Quality of Life, Cardiac Pacemakers Inc., Cardiovascular Diseases.

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Source: Heart Disease Weekly

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