Monday, April 09, 2007

Medtronic's Carelink Remote Device Follow-up "Free"

Today I received a letter from Stephen H. Mahle, Executive Vice President and President of Medtronic's Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management division, notifying me that their Carelink remote device check technology no longer has quarterly service charges.
"You will not be charged for patient transmissions that occurred on or after January 1, 2007. You will receive a final, zero-dollar invoice for transmissions occurring through March 31, 2007. In the next few days, your contract administrator will receive more information about this pricing change."
It seems Boston Scientific's Latitude system, which rolls up the cost of continuous remote device checks in to the cost of their device, is a better business model. People already perceive the cost of these devices as high, and to pay additional costs for ongoing monitoring consumed too many hospital (and Medtronic) resources and resulted in a competitive disadvantage to Medtronic. Furthermore, this is in line with the Heart Rhythm Society's mandate to provide this service as part of continuing quality assurance monitoring.

This is not good news for St. Jude, since there will be additional pressure on their ICD and pacemaker technology platforms to provide similar services at no charge to their customers.


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