Purpose: The Medtronic CareLink allows remote implantable device follow-up. In this first European experience with CareLink, we assessed the ease of use of the system, the acceptance, and satisfaction of patients and clinicians.
Methods: Patients implanted with biventricular defibrillators for more than 6 months received the CareLink monitor and were trained to perform home device interrogation and transmission. Patient and clinician experience and preference were evaluated through specific questionnaires.
Results: Sixty-seven patients were enrolled and were able to perform data transmissions during the 3-month study duration. The overall duration of interrogation procedure was 7 +/- 5 minutes, and frequently the procedure did not require the assistance of a caregiver. Patients reported a general preference for remote versus in-clinic follow-up and described a sense of reassurance created by the remote monitoring capability.In the centers, the review procedure was successful; its mean duration was 5 +/- 2 minutes per transmission and the users indicated that the access and navigation of the review website were easy. At the end of the evaluation, the data available for remote review were judged complete and adequate to provide almost the same standard of care as that offered in traditional in-clinic visit. In general, the remote monitoring was seen as a potential tool to improve the clinical management of patients with device.
Conclusions: The ease of use, satisfaction, and acceptance of the CareLink Network in European clinical practice appears elevated both for patients and for clinicians.