by Jason Hale, CCDS, PaceMate™ Co-Founder and Vice President of Commercial Excellence, and Robin Leahy, RN, FHRS, CCDS, PaceMate™ Director of Customer Experience
A study published in the European Heart Journal last month examined the burden of ventricular arrhythmias during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. O’Shea et al. (2020) compared the incidence of ventricular arrhythmias in ICD patients during a 100-day period during the pandemic with pre-pandemic and seasonal control groups.
Researchers hypothesized that the study group would experience a higher burden of ventricular arrhythmias as compared to the control groups. Unlike prior published research that examined ventricular arrhythmia burden in relation to other tragic occurrences such as natural disasters or the 9/11 World Trade Center attack, this study revealed a 32% reduction in ventricular arrhythmias requiring device therapy and a 39% reduction for patients residing in states with higher incidence of COVID-19.
These results indicate that as implementation of stay-at-home orders increased, the incidence of ventricular arrhythmias requiring device therapy decreased.
Public Health and Virtual Care Impacts
At first, these results may seem surprising. However, the findings become clear once the correlation of ventricular arrhythmia events and public health intervention measures is considered.
Stay-at-home orders, social distancing recommendations, and lockdown measures such as school and business closures resulted in more home-based, sedentary lifestyle behaviors. These behaviors potentially contributed to less vigorous activity, more job-related stress, and other triggers which may have increased sympathetic tone. Additionally, the rapid expansion and delivery of virtual care options for patients provided easier healthcare access and perhaps better or more timely care.
Utilizing PaceMate™LIVE Data
The study’s sole information source was data collected remotely during the early COVID-19 pandemic period. Data collection via the PaceMate™LIVE remote monitoring platform enabled researchers to query all-manufacturer ICD, CRT-D, and SICD patients within the PaceMate™ database and easily access salient device-generated datapoints for the study.
PaceMate™’s APIs (application programming interfaces) have the ability to integrate with the nation’s best EHR vendors. In future studies, the PaceMate™LIVE platform could be used to assist researchers by connecting ventricular arrhythmia burden with structured data indicative of clinical status, medications, and healthcare utilization.
Consider PaceMate™’s Research Potential
If you had the ability to easily access CIED patient population data and marry it with pertinent patient EHR data, what clinical, quality, or operational questions might be considered? PaceMate™ is leading the way in digital healthcare—perfectly positioned to support your practice’s cardiac data related research endeavors.