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Published on October 14, 2016

When the South Korean Government Wanted to Bring Remote Monitoring of Heart Devices to the Country, They Turned to Cone Health

A Cone Health electrophysiologist visits South Korea to discuss how Cone Health uses remote monitoring to improve the care of patients with pacemakers and defibrillators. 

More than half a million Americans have pacemakers or defibrillators. The watch-faced-sized, disc-shaped devices control the rhythm of the heart or restart it should it stop. While wearers lead normal lives, the devices have to be monitored. Cone Health has been a leader in using technology, such as

Dr. James Allred

smartphones, to allow better monitoring and fewer doctor visits. Cone Health Medical Group electrophysiologist James Allred, MD, is helping bring the technology to South Korea.

“We almost take remote monitoring for granted. Having our team look over patients’ pacemakers and defibrillators remotely and find small concerns before they become big ones is part of our routine,” says Allred. “I am honored to help bring this level of care to South Korea.”

Remote monitoring began with the pacemaker or defibrillator downloading information using a landline phone. Many patients today use an app on their smartphone to send device information wirelessly to their doctor. This allows patients to confidently take cross country trips with little more than their smartphone and an occasional Wi-Fi or cell connection.

Allred will work with an advocacy group of South Korean electrophysiology physician leaders as well as South Korean national regulators to help bring remote pacemaker/ defibrillator telehealth to their country. While this technology has been in the U.S. for several years, remote monitoring is not yet permitted in Korea. Allred will speak with regulators regarding the benefits of remote monitoring and then to physicians to address the logistics involved in setting up a remote monitoring program.

Allred will work with his counterparts after speaking at the Asian Pacific Heart Rhythm Society meeting in Seoul.

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