What Is a Wearable Defibrillator?

wearable defibrillator

Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillators (WCDs) detect abnormal heart rhythm and administer an electric shock to correct it, or warn patients about dangerously fast ones. It can also monitor and warn of dangerously fast heart rhythms.

The FDA granted approval of WCD based on results of two randomized, prospective studies, known as the BIROAD and WEARIT trials, with over 300 participants at high risk for sudden cardiac death and reduced LVEF who participated in both trials.

It is a non-invasive device

Wearable defibrillators (WADs) are vest-like devices designed to monitor heart rhythm and provide lifesaving treatment that may prevent sudden cardiac death (SCD). WCDs use similar detection technology as implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), but don’t require surgery for installation. One popular WCD, LifeVest, comprises an electrode chest garment equipped with electrode pads that monitor heart rhythm detection as well as a monitor box and battery pack. This device is intended to alert the user of arrhythmia through three alarms: gong, vibration or siren. A gong indicates that attention needs to be paid to the monitor box while vibration indicates lethal arrhythmia has been identified while siren indicates imminent shocks are likely.

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is one of the leading causes of mortality in the USA, accounting for 15% of total mortality. Unfortunately, despite advances in prevention and treatment of sudden cardiac arrest due to coronary heart disease or reduced ejection fraction heart failure remains poor with sudden cardiac arrests often caused by cardiac arrhythmia which results in rapid uncontrollable heart rhythms leading to cardiac arrest and subsequent sudden death.

Patients at high risk of sudden cardiac death typically qualify for an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Current medical guidelines advise waiting 40 to 90 days following myocardial infarction or HFrEF diagnosis before considering ICD placement; this gives physicians time to assess prognosis and formulate an effective plan.

At times, implanting an ICD may be delayed by factors like infection or limited vascular access for surgery. An external wearable defibrillator can offer temporary protection and help them decide if an ICD is necessary – according to one recent study published Sept 27 2018 in New England Journal of Medicine by 289 patients diagnosed with myocardial infarction or fibromuscular dysplasia who are at an increased risk of sudden cardiac death; researchers randomly assigned either LifeVest WCDs or guideline-directed care services according to these factors.

It is easy to use

LifeVest wearable defibrillator (WCD) is a rechargeable device designed to monitor and defibrillate patients at all hours of day or night, detecting dangerous arrhythmias, and providing high-energy shocks as needed. Specifically designed to safeguard hospital patients against sudden cardiac arrest, its shocks may even save lives if bystanders cannot revive a victim themselves.

As studies have demonstrated its efficacy in detecting and treating life-threatening ventricular tachyarrhythmias (VT) and ventricular fibrillation (VF), it has become recommended as bridge therapy between hospitalization and receiving an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) or heart transplant; additionally it could serve as a long-term alternative option for individuals not eligible for ICDs due to frailty or other considerations.

WCD comprises a chest garment equipped with two defibrillator pads and electrodes for sensing rhythm, a belt containing four additional defibrillator pads located on the front of the body and a small monitor box that records heart activity. A gong alarm and vibration will alert the patient that a potentially lethal arrhythmia has been identified and treatment preparations are taking place.

It is affordable

Defibrillators are used to help patients treat life-threatening arrhythmias like ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. There are both internal (implantable cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs) and external defibrillators (automated external defibrillators, AEDs), that use an electric shock to restore a natural heart rhythm; they can be either internal (implantable cardioverter defibrillators) or external (automated external defibrillators). Defibrillation machines use an electric shock to restore natural heart rhythm; they can often be found in public places and used by anyone familiar with its use; automatically analyze heart condition before administering shock to restore natural heartbeats; furthermore they give verbal instructions as well as visual diagrams to assist users when placing pads before administering shock; furthermore they will indicate whether CPR should be administered or not required.

LifeVest cardiac device is a wearable defibrillator designed to monitor heart activity and provide shock therapy when an irregular rhythmia is detected. Designed specifically for people at risk of sudden cardiac arrest, LifeVest could help save their lives from hospitalization or emergency room visits. When experiencing cardiac arrest it can occur within minutes after heartbeat stops beating – without immediate treatment such events may prove fatal within moments.

At present, people at high short-term risk for SCA are monitored in hospital intensive care units or coronary care units; however, this option can be costly and is generally reserved for critical-care patients. LifeVest wearable defibrillator was created as an intermediate treatment option to help this group of people.

The global LifeVest market is projected to experience compound annual compound annual compound growth of 22% over the foreseeable future, as its use provides timely measures against heart attack without having to consult a cardiologist, while providing peace of mind for families and caregivers alike. Furthermore, rental options exist so people who do not wish to invest in expensive ICD devices can rent one instead; its ease of use has been verified by FDA testing as well.

It is effective

Wearable cardioverter defibrillators (WCD) are portable, lifesaving devices designed to detect life-threatening arrhythmias and deliver appropriate shocks in order to restore normal heart rhythm. A WCD includes a vest with electrode belt worn underneath clothing all day long, along with an external monitor placed on the chest – both are continuously recording electrical activity of the heart, while electrode belt contains dry non-adhesive ECG electrodes for monitoring purposes; in addition, three defibrillation electrodes protected by conductive gel for shock delivery during appropriate shock events.

WCDs are used to administer one or more shocks to the heart in order to treat ventricular fibrillation or tachycardia and can also prevent cardiac arrest in other arrhythmias. First used in 1947 in open chest cases to save lives from sudden cardiac death, they soon after were used on portable units capable of dispensing much lower energy levels (up to 30 joules) than its predecessor, the WCDs were being implanted into humans by 1980.

However, it’s unclear whether WCDs can effectively prevent sudden cardiac death among recent heart attack patients as the results from various randomized trials have not been consistent; given that these studies involved diverse patient populations and could possibly involve different variables that impact device outcomes.

Recent research involving patients receiving WCDs found that they did not significantly reduce sudden death among them despite wearing it as prescribed, suggesting low adherence may be hindering its efficacy.

Additionally, this device was associated with increased nonarrhythmic deaths and hospitalization for myocardial infarction or congestive heart failure hospitalization rates, so patients at high risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) must discuss and understand how WCD works with their physician before considering getting one.

Researchers from the University of California San Francisco recently conducted a new study aimed at measuring compliance with wearable defibrillator use – a non-invasive external device – among 708 patients who had either suffered myocardial infarction or were at high risk of sudden cardiac death due to reduced left ventricular ejection fraction, respectively. They were monitored over a 28 +- 35.5 months period.

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