U of U Hospital Doctor Implants New Wireless Heart Monitor, A Regional First

Mar 11, 2014

Dr. Frederick Han of the University of Utah Hospital's Cardiovascular Center, implanted a tiny wireless heart monitor Tuesday.
Dr. Frederick Han of the University of Utah Hospital's Cardiovascular Center, implanted a tiny wireless heart monitor Tuesday.
Credit Bob Nelson

A doctor at the University of Utah Hospital implanted a small wireless heart monitor Tuesday in a first-of-its-kind procedure in the Intermountain West. Dr. Fred Han performed the procedure by placing a device the size of a triple-a battery under the skin, near the heart. He says this new technology does away with the numerous stick-on patches, wires and belt pack for the patient while giving doctors better data.

"Because this is implantable, I can see something 24/7 as opposed to the other monitors, I can only detect something if the patient is wearing it," says Dr. Han. "So if the patient doesn’t want to wear it, I’m not going to detect anything.”

Joe Clingenpeel and Dr. Fred Han in U of U Hospital's Cath Lab for short implant procedure.
Joe Clingenpeel and Dr. Fred Han in U of U Hospital's Cath Lab for short implant procedure.
Credit File: medtronic

Joe Clingenpeel of Green River, Wyoming is the implant patient. He says he’s been bothered by the heart condition and this new monitor will be a big relief.

"They prepped me, I walked in, had the procedure, literally took two minutes, uh, walked back out, got dressed, and here I am,” says Clingenpeel.

He says he’s looking forward to sleeping better and getting back to a more active lifestyle. He says he’s hopeful doctors will now be able to sort out his heart issues in less than the three years the device lasts.