Merlin.net, a medical monitoring system developed by St. Jude's Medical has been approved for use in Europe (after previous approval in the US). The system transmits medical information from an implanted pacemaker
or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), to a Merlin monitoring unit in the patient's home, which then transmits the information to the hospital or caretaker. Transmitting the data can occur at any time, regardless of whether the patient is even awake, and provides constant monitoring of the patient. If the system detects a possible problem or "event," it will alert the doctor by text message, email or fax
, making possibly emergency situations more easily treatable. Merlin is expected to be marketed to health care provides starting in the spring -- which is currently happening -- so any day now.