HRS: Electric event sparks discussion
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Kaitlyn Dmyterko,
Associate Editor
Last week, I I trekked up to Boston to cover the 33rd annual scientific sessions of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS). If you were there, or even if you weren't, you can see from our coverage that the conference was stimulating and incited chatter about electrophysiology (EP) as well as its new technologies, drugs and methods.

From the throngs of electrophysiologists who packed many of the sessions that were forced to spill into the corridors of the convention center, the meeting of approximately 8,000 attendees sparked conversations that in turn could change the future of EP.

One such electric topic was implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) leads. With much concern surrounding lead recalls and fractures over the last couple of years, many offered possible solutions to these problems.

For example, Bashir et al from the University of British Columbia provided insight on how to manage patients implanted with the recalled Sprint Fidelis lead (Medtronic). The researchers recommended that patients undergo lead revision during the time of a generator change as an elective procedure. The data showed costs to be double when patient leads fracture compared with when an elective procedure was performed to revise the lead during a generator change.

On a similar topic, an economic analysis of the RAFT study found cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillators (CRT-D) to be cost-effective and helpful in terms of improving a patient’s quality of life. This was just one of the few analyses that looked at potential ways to cut costs while simultaneously improving care. The researchers found that CRT-D patients gained more than one QALY at an additional cost of $35,308 over a lifetime when compared with ICD therapy.

Many sessions also looked to health IT as a potential way to save money. Two studies in particular addressed how remote monitoring can improve care and help hospitals cut costs. In the first, Leonardo Calo, MD, of the Policlinico Casilino in Rome found ICD remote monitoring to be cost-effective. In fact, patients who underwent monitoring remotely saved more than $200 per year.

Likewise, another study by Perego et al found that remote monitoring for ICD patients could help to reduce unplanned hospital admission. The study showed a more than 20 percent decrease in hospital admissions for cardiac- or device-related events with the technology.

The meeting was designed to provide solutions to common problems in the EP world and brought the best and brightest together to challenge one another with the goal to improve patient care.

Check out our HRS.12 and SCAI.12 coverage from Boston and Las Vegas at

Kaitlyn Dmyterko
Associate editor, Cardiovascular Business