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U of U Hospital Doctor Implants New Wireless Heart Monitor, A Regional First

Bob Nelson

A doctor at the University of Utah Hospital implanted a small wireless heart monitor Tuesday in a first-of-its-kind procedure in the Intermountain West. Dr. Fred Han performed the procedure by placing a device the size of a triple-a battery under the skin, near the heart. He says this new technology does away with the numerous stick-on patches, wires and belt pack for the patient while giving doctors better data.

"Because this is implantable, I can see something 24/7 as opposed to the other monitors, I can only detect something if the patient is wearing it," says Dr. Han. "So if the patient doesn’t want to wear it, I’m not going to detect anything.”

Credit File: medtronic
Joe Clingenpeel and Dr. Fred Han in U of U Hospital's Cath Lab for short implant procedure.

Joe Clingenpeel of Green River, Wyoming is the implant patient. He says he’s been bothered by the heart condition and this new monitor will be a big relief.

"They prepped me, I walked in, had the procedure, literally took two minutes, uh, walked back out, got dressed, and here I am,” says Clingenpeel.

He says he’s looking forward to sleeping better and getting back to a more active lifestyle. He says he’s hopeful doctors will now be able to sort out his heart issues in less than the three years the device lasts. 

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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