Here is the announcement from the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Keeping hearts ticking and talking with tech
2011 Health-Care Heroes Awards
Premium content from Atlanta Business Chronicle – by Giannina Smith, Contributing Writer
Date: Friday, May 20, 2011, 12:57pm EDT
Health-Care Innovations – WINNER
Founder and CEO, CardioMEMS Inc.
While working at the Cleveland Clinic, cardiologist Jay Yadav recognized that the ironic consequence of having more heart attack survivors was an increase in heart failure patients — a phenomenon that was adding to the 1.1 million heart failure hospitalizations per year costing more than $20 billion.
Looking for a way to prevent heart failure patients from ending up in the emergency room and being hospitalized, Yadav combined technology from Georgia Tech and wireless communication research from MIT to develop the first, permanently implantable, wireless, battery-less device that provides cardiac catheterization data from patients’ home. With initial funding from close friends and himself, Yadav launched CardioMEMS Inc., an Atlanta-based medical device company, which is focused on delivering more cost-effective health care though the development of patient management technology for severe chronic cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure.
For his groundbreaking innovation, Jay Yadav is the winner in the Health Care Innovations category for the 2011 Atlanta Business Chronicle Health-Care Heroes Awards.
“The impetus for starting CardioMEMS and creating this technology was to get this type of information to prevent hospitalization versus reacting to hospitalization — a proactive instead of a reactive approach,” Yadav said. “A big issue we have in medicine is we are often fixing things after they are broken and that is one of the reasons why our health-care system is so expensive.”
Prior to the development of CardioMEMS’ heart failure pressure sensor, called CHAMPION, no one had transmitted information from inside the body without an implanted battery. Designed for permanent implantation into a patient’s pulmonary artery using a catheter-based procedure, Yadav’s innovation means that once patients get the sensor they should never require another procedure to replace batteries.
“Previous to CardioMEMS, all the electrical devices we had, pacemakers and so forth, involved a battery that is implanted beneath the skin, and tunneling a wire called a lead into a vein in the heart,” Yadav said. “That technology has been around a long time and is effective, but it has a lot of issues. The leads tend to break, they cause clot formation in the veins and the batteries have to be replaced, which is a surgical procedure.”
Once implanted, CardioMEMS’ sensor allows pulmonary artery pressure to be measured and displayed using an electronic monitoring system.
Following the procedure, patients perform wireless measurements of their pulmonary artery pressure from home and the data is transmitted to a database and available for review by the implanting physician on the CardioMEMS website.
This allows for frequent, real-time monitoring of vital health information that can reduce costly heart failure hospitalizations.
CardioMEMS had to prove that having this type of information would lead to clinical benefits. In 2010, the company completed clinical trials of its heart failure pressure sensor by following 550 patients at 63 U.S. heart centers. The trials demonstrated a 38 percent reduction in heart failure hospitalizations.
“If we can apply that across the country, reducing hospitalizations by almost 40 percent, that is a huge benefit for the health-care system as well as for the patient on a personal level,” Yadav said.
As a result of this success, Yadav recently concluded a partnership with St. Jude Medical — for a $60 million investment in CardioMEMS, St. Jude was given the option to buy CardioMEMS in a transaction valued at more than $450 million.
“CardioMEMS will have a transformational effect on the treatment of heart failure. This technology is going to impact the lives of millions of patients both in the U.S. and around the world,” Yadav said.
- Age: 51
- Years in business: 25
- Top career achievement: Founding CardioMEMS Inc.
- Prior jobs: Cleveland Clinic and Piedmont Heart Institute