Tracking Hearts From Home

Each year, more than one-million people are rushed to the ER suffering heart failure. Now, a tiny sensor may lower that number and keep patients home and out of the hospital. Robyn Haines has the details. Weight gain is the most obvious sign of heart failure. When hearts slow down, fluids build up. Doctor's say the scale was the best diagnostic tool, until now. A sensor, about the size of a paper clip, could be a new way to manage heart failure. It detects fluid buildup. Each day, patients lay in a special mat with sensors that read fluid levels. It transmits the results back to the doctors. Doctors called Walter 10 times over the 2-year trial– alerting him to fluid building in his lungs. Instead of being admitted, he took medication and turned his attention back to his granddaughter. Study results from the trial showed a 30-percent decrease in hospitalizations over a six-month period compared to that of standard everyday management. Also, none of the sensors ever need to be replaced or removed once implanted. The doctor featured in this story is Ayesha Hasan, a cardiologist at the OSU Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio.