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EANS-Adhoc: LifeWatch Services, Inc. Launches Stroke Patient Care Program
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LifeWatch AG´s (SIX Swiss Exchange: LIFE) American subsidiary LifeWatch Services, Inc., the leading provider of wireless telemedicine services in the U.S., announced the launch of its Stroke Patient Care program for monitoring patients who have experienced a Transient Ischemic Attacks(TIA)/Stroke of unknown origin (cryptogenic).
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Each year approximately 795,000 Americans will suffer a new or recurrent stroke, which on average, means that a stroke will occur every 40 seconds. A Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) is defined as a brief episode in which the brain gets insufficient blood supply and described as an incomplete stroke whose symptoms typically last for minutes up to a few hours. One third of individuals who have had one or more TIAs will suffer a stroke. With 36% of those who survive such an event, the cause is unknown or cryptogenic. Furthermore, multiple clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy of chronic oral anticoagulation (Coumadin) in patients who are at high risk for recurrent embolic neurological events. However, Coumadin is not without risk and requires accurate diagnosis of Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation (PAF) before the initiation of therapy. A recent study demonstrates that outpatient cardiac telemetry can detect asymptomatic (no symptoms) Atrial Fibrillation (AF) in up to 23% of patients who have experienced a stroke or TIA of unknown origin. AF episodes as brief as 30 seconds may indicate more prolonged and clinically significant AF.1 A specialized Stroke Patient Care program utilizing LifeStar ACT technology to detect asymptomatic AF has the ability to accurately identify the cause of stroke and reduce the possibility of long term catastrophic effects.
"To significantly decrease the incidence of secondary stroke, physicians treating these patients need a convenient monitoring solution to identify stroke patients with abnormal heart rhythms but no symptoms", stated Leigh Ann Kelly, Vice President of Business Development at LifeWatch. "LifeWatch´s Medical Advisory Board and senior clinicians have collaborated extensively with renowned stroke specialists and neurologists in order to develop a monitoring program that meets the needs of both stroke patients and their treating physicians".
"Cryptogenic stroke is more common in the geriatric population, yet most cardiac event looping recorders present technological challenges for these patients, in particular with those who have a neurologic deficit", stated Harry Kopelman, M.D., LifeWatch Medical Advisory Board Chairman. "The ACT III cardiac telemetry device is a better choice as a diagnostic tool with a dedicated disease management program, as it can lead to more accurate and efficient arrhythmia diagnosis which is critical to the management of the cryptogenic stroke population".
"The LifeWatch Stroke Patient Care program will be supported by the ACT service platform and is the second patient care program that we have launched in the past 18 months", stated Dr. Yacov Geva, Chairman and CEO of LifeWatch AG, adding "This latest expansion will enable us to pursue our mission of improving patient care and outcomes".
1. Tayal et al, Neurology 2008.
About LifeWatch AG LifeWatch AG, headquartered in Neuhausen am Rheinfall and listed on SIX Swiss Exchange (LIFE), Switzerland, is the leading healthcare technology and solution company, specializing in advanced telehealth systems and wireless cardiac monitoring services. LifeWatch services treat high-risk and chronically ill patients, health conscious consumers and wellness programs. LifeWatch has subsidiaries in the United States, the Netherlands, Japan, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Israel. LifeWatch AG is the parent company of LifeWatch Services Inc., a leading US-based cardiac monitoring service provider, and manufacturer of telecardiology products. www.lifewatch.com
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