Bardy Diagnostics says Seattle-area health providers are using its Carnation ambulatory monitor (CAM) patch to measure QT segments in COVID-19 patients prescribed hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) experimentally.
Hospitals across the city in their protocals have slated the local company’s CAM patch for use monitoring cardiac rhythms after coronavirus patients on HCQ are discharged from the hospital, as well as for outpatients, according to Bardy Diagnostics.
HCQ has previously been used in treating malaria. According to rheumatology.org, it is unclear why the drug is effective at treating autoimmune diseases, but researchers believe that it interferes with the communication of cells in the immune system. There are side effects that include nausea and diarrhea, with more rare effects including anemia and visual changes or loss of vision.
In extreme cases that involve self-medication with non-pharmaceutical forms of the drug, there have been deaths related to HCQ. A Phoenix-area man reportedly died, while his wife is in critical care after the two drank chloroquine phosphate in the form of an additive commonly used to clean fish tanks.
Drugs being used off-label to treat coronavirus, such as HCQ, as well as azithromycin, may cause QT (hearth rhythm) prolongation or drug-induced sudden cardiac death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Bardy touts its CAM patch as being capable of detecting and recording low frequency, low amplitude cardiac rhythms in a way that can measure QT intervals and potentially diagnose Torsades de Pointes, a potentially lethal arrhythmia.
Earlier this week, AliveCor announced that the FDA now allows the company’s KardiaMobile 6L electrocardiogram (ECG) for use in measuring QTc, which can potentially cause fast, chaotic heartbeats) in patients with COVID-19.
“The world is currently at war against the COVID-19 virus and we are proud that the CAM Patch is being used in that fight to help physicians better identify and understand any arrhythmias, or other cardiac irregularities, that may be related to use of HCQ in COVID-19 patients, as well as how any potential COVID-19 vaccines might impact cardiac function,” Bardy CEO and chief medical officer Dr. Gust Bardy said in a news release.
Bardy noted that a clinical study published in the American Heart Journal found that the CAM patch recorded an increase in arrhythmia detection that was four times larger than measurements made by a traditional Holter monitor. That study concluded that the CAM patch “offered significantly improved rhythm diagnostics as compared to a traditional Holter.”
Another study comparing the CAM patch’s P-wave-centric engineering to that of iRhythm’s Zio XT patch revealed that Bardy’s patch identified 40% more arrhythmias and resulted in better, more informed decision making in 41% of patients.
“The CAM Patch is quickly becoming the new standard of care in cardiac monitoring and the trusted cardiac monitor of choice by electrophysiologists, cardiologists, and other physicians across the U.S., U.K., and Canada,” Bardy chief commercial officer Ken Nelson said. “It is increasingly clear that physicians and patients are realizing the true clinical- and market-differentiating value of our P-wave focused detection technology in optimizing patient care and clinic workflow.”