First Colchester Hospital patient gets Bluetooth heart monitor

A heart monitor which sits under the skin and talks to a smartphone has been fitted to a patient at Colchester Hospital for the first time.

These devices mean patients can be monitored at home so they won’t need to come go to hospital for check-ups.

Gerald Brown (67) from Clacton will be able to use Bluetooth to activate the implant which records every heartbeat on an app, after having the device fitted this week.

He will be able to log any symptoms of dizziness or palpitations directly to the hospital, without the need for a clinic appointment.  Consultant cardiologist Duncan Field said: “The app is very user-friendly and the procedure to have it fitted takes between 10 to 15 minutes.

“It allows the patient to feel empowered and in control and will look for heart rhythm disturbances, usually in younger rather than older patients.

“It is nice to be able to provide something in-house at Colchester and it will prove cost-effective as a nurse or physiologist will be trained to fit it.

“It is the first device on the market that talks to a mobile phone and the exciting thing is that technology is moving forward all the time.”

Mr Brown, who has been having heart palpitations a week apart, said: “Apparently it comes through my phone which is going to be interesting because I am not very technically minded!

“I have had three or four procedures here (at Colchester Hospital) and if it goes as well as they did it won’t be a problem.”

The device has a battery life of two to three years. By reducing the number of check-ups it will it will save time and money for both the Hospital Trust and for patients.