Forth Valley Royal at the Forefront of Technology

Forth Valley Royal Hospital is the first hospital in Scotland to implant a tiny heart monitor – just one third the size of a triple A battery – into a patient… The mini device helps physicians diagnose heart rhythm problems by monitoring heartbeats for up to three years.

Previous monitors were inserted surgically meaning a visit to the operating theatre and leaving a small wound requiring stitches.  But the new device is so small it can be implanted using an injection-like technique and comes with a wireless monitoring capability meaning patients can constantly be kept under watch remotely.

Francis McIntyre underwent the procedure by Consultant Cardiologist Dr Catherine Labinjoh. She explained: “Up to now, devices like these have been very helpful in investigating certain patients troubled by blackouts or serious heart rhythm problems but using them meant a further visit to the hospital for surgery… and in some situations the device was quite prominent under the skin. Now I can inject the monitor easily through a very short incision, often on the same day I first meet the patient which is what happened in Mr McIntyre’s case. And it’s so small, patients hardly notice it’s there.”

Placed just beneath the skin through a small incision of less than 1 cm in the upper left side of the chest, the Reveal LINQ Implantable Cardiac Monitor is often nearly invisible to the naked eye once inserted. It goes wherever the patient goes and includes a simplified remote monitoring system with global cellular technology that transmits patients’ cardiac data back to NHS Forth Valley from nearly any location in the world.

(Left to Right – Dr Sowmya Venkatasubramanian, Dr Catherine Labinjoh, Mr McIntyre and a friend, Moira Sawyers).