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Drexel University College of Medicine Investigating Early Heart Attack Detection Device

May 29, 2013

Drexel University College of Medicine is the only academic medical center in Philadelphia studying the AngelMed Guardian System, an implantable cardiac monitoring device designed to track significant changes in the heart's electrical signal. The system alerts patients to seek medical attention. This device is designed for patients who are at high-risk of having a first or recurrent heart attack.

John M. Fontaine, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology, and director of cardiac arrhythmia services at Drexel Cardiology, is leading the ALERTS Pivotal study along with his co-investigator, Peter Kurnik, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology, and director of diagnostic and interventional cardiology. The study will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of this investigational system and is currently enrolling patients.

"More than a million heart attacks occur every year, and one third of those are fatal because most patients deny or don't recognize heart attack symptoms and don't get to the hospital in enough time," said Dr. Fontaine. "This device is designed to measure changes in the electrical signal of the heart by continuously recording an EKG from inside the heart 24 hours a day, every day and can potentially alert the patient at the earliest onset of a heart attack before the patient feels any symptoms so that he or she can get treatment as soon as possible." Studies have shown that most of the delay in receiving treatment for a heart attack is due to the patients' delay in contacting the emergency medical system and arriving at the hospital in a timely manner.

The AngelMed Guardian System comprises the following patient components:

  • An implantable monitoring device
  • A standard pacemaker lead
  • An external telemetry device

There is also a programmer that is used to wirelessly program and retrieve data stored in the implantable device.

The ALERTS clinical trial is ongoing in approximately 100 centers throughout the United States and abroad, more than 800 patients are currently enrolled. To participate in the study, or to determine if you are eligible, please call the ALERTS clinical trial hotline at 215.762.4570.

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