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San Diego Man Receives World’s Smallest Implantable Heart Monitor

Aired 2/26/14 on KPBS News.

A 71-year-old San Diego man has become the first in the nation to receive the world’s smallest implantable heart monitor.

The device, called the Reveal Linq ICM, is made by Medtronic, Inc. It's smaller than an AAA battery. The device is implanted just under the skin; the procedure is done with local anesthetic.

It’s designed for patients who suffer from dizziness, fainting and chest pains. The device can help doctors determine whether abnormal heart rhythms are the cause.

Scripps Clinic Cardiologist John Rogers, who's served as a consultant with Medtronic, said the heart monitor automatically sends him patient’s data.

“So if they’ve had a heart rhythm problem, I’m going to know about it that day," Rogers explained. "And that allows me to deliver the appropriate care in a timely fashion, so I can treat them faster and hopefully safer.”

The San Diego man who’s the first to receive the monitor has a history of heart palpitations.

Irregular heart rhythms contribute to an estimated 500,000 deaths nationwide each year.

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