Lufkin cardiologist implants new smart phone-enabled heart monitor

Lufkin cardiologist implants new smart phone-enabled heart monitor
(Photo: KTRE)
(Photo: KTRE)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Doctors in Lufkin inserted the first wearable smart phone-enabled heart monitor on a Huntington man a week ago. The new Bluetooth technology provides accurate data to doctors on how to treat patients.

At the beginning of December, Robert Blanton had just come home from the grocery store when the unexpected happened.

"Next thing I know is my neighbors are knocking on my door. Everybody was there checking on me, and what in the world. I didn't feel much of anything. I was sort of rung dung," Blanton said.

His wife, Debbie, said that's when he had a stroke.

Robert feels young at heart, but his heart is not acting that way. That's when the couple started having conversations about his heart with doctors.

As a result, cardiologist Dr. Vivek Mangla and his team installed the first continuous heart monitor that's compatible with smart phones at the Woodland Heights Memorial Medical Center.

"One of the most longest way to monitor somebody's heart rhythm is to now implant a small chip or what we call a loop recorder, which is basically injected into the front of the chest of the body," Dr. Mangla said.

The device helps record monitoring your heart's rhythm in an easy, effective and discreet manner.

The monitor works along with an app which allows you to record symptoms on the go and proactively transmits data to your doctor even if you face a situation should your phone have low battery.

Dr. Mangla said the innovation in technology is a step toward insight into the heart's activity with less interruption to a patient's life.

"This inter-connectivity with actual real data and what the patient experiences are to the doctor's office is a fascinating and exciting development," Dr. Mangla said.

Results from the technology are immediate. There's no waiting around for results. The implant procedure takes less than an half an hour.

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