A woman in the US has been implanted with a Wi-Fi pacemaker to help doctors monitor her condition more effectively.

Carol Kasyjanski was the first in the country to be fitted with the device, which logs in wirelessly at least once a day to download information.

Should there be any irregularities or problems with her heart's rhythm, doctors are instantly alerted and can be called any time of the day or night.

This is a much more complete and safe way of monitoring a patient's heart problems, rather than having to communicate them over the phone or head down for a regular check up.

While the latter is still necessary, the doctor has most of the information available to him already, meaning the appointment time is cut.

Less tests, more patients

Dr Steven Greenberg, the director of St Francis' Arrhythmia and Pacemaker Center, said this will help improve doctors' ability to spend more time talking to their patients rather than running tests.

"In the future, these pacemakers may be placed not just for people with slow heartbeats. We may be monitoring high blood pressure, we may be measuring glucose, we may be monitoring heart failure," he said.

"There are literally dozens of physiological parameters that now, with this wireless technology, we can leverage for the future of monitoring. So it is not just a rhythm monitor but a disease monitor."

Such systems have also been shown on the likes of the iPhone, with the LifeScan App from Johnson and Johnson one of the flagship demonstrations at the recent iPhone 3.0 firmware upgrade presentation.

Via Reuters