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IronRod Health Newsletter – August 2020

Explore Our Heart Rhythm Academy Programs

This fall, we will be offering a Cardiac Device Technician training program through IronRod Health’s Heart Rhythm Academy. Students will leave this eight-week program with their Cardiac Device Technician certificate, and additional knowledge that will help them prepare for the Certified Rhythm Analysis Technician (CRAT), Certified Cardiographic Technician (CCT), and International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners (IBHRE) tests.

The program will be taught virtually by IronRod Health’s Director of Education, Tony Fernandez, who will cover a wide variety of topics including cardiac anatomy and physiology, device interrogation and programming, pharmacology, timing cycles, specialized algorithms and electrophysiology, and much more.

Tony Fernandez is certified by the IBHRE and supervises the training of hospital and clinic staff. Through a combination of academic study and field training, these personnel will learn how to monitor cardiac devices.

The total cost for the program is $9,995 and it will begin on September 14, 2020. Payment options are available, and enrollment is open. To enroll in this session of the Cardiac Device Technician training program offered by IronRod Health’s Heart Rhythm Academy, please contact us or visit the website.

From the heart,


Smart Watches Aren’t So Smart for All EKG Monitoring

Smart watches and fitness trackers have become quite popular in the last few years. Each new generation of these devices comes with increased capabilities, some including more advanced health-monitoring apps. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 recently received FDA clearance for electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG), and in September 2018, the Apple Watch did as well. But what exactly does this mean?

First, let’s look at an overview of how the EKG app works. The mentioned Samsung and Apple smart watches have an electrical heart sensor built in, which documents the user’s heart rhythm and heartbeat. Then, the recorded information is reviewed by the watch software, to check for atrial fibrillation (AFib). In fact, AFib is the only heart issue that can be detected via this method. At IronRod Health, we utilize both advanced software and experienced, continuously trained human beings to assess readings from heart monitoring devices. We then use our extensive and informed experience to act on those readings accordingly, supporting patients with various heart conditions.


August is MedicAlert Awareness Month!

Over 60 years ago, MedicAlert was created by a doctor, and since then, it has been at the forefront of disseminating urgent medical information in a crisis for millions of its members around the globe. These devices have proven their worth in emergent circumstances by decreasing medication mistakes and medical errors (by 50%, according to some estimates), and quicker and more accurate diagnosing.

The perception might be that it’s just older adults who wear medical alert devices. However one quick search of Instagram with the #MedicAlert shows that people of all ages use this lifesaving warning and information system. Gone are the days of only one option – a plain silver bracelet and plate with red lettering. Yes, those are still a popular choice for customers, but browsing the MedicAlert website, you’ll find stylish and varied selections for women, men, and children, from necklaces to dog tags, and silicone to paracord. You can even buy shoe tags, a band to go around your smart watch, and a small health information booklet for your wallet, which is only the size of a credit card.

The MedicAlert Foundation shared that each day in the USA, about 650,000 calls to emergency services are received. Accordingly, they state the following:

“You will benefit from MedicAlert membership if you:

  • want your critical health and personal information conveyed or made available, 24/7

  • have a medical condition such as Alzheimer’s/dementia, asthma, autism, blood disorders, epilepsy/seizures, heart disease, or hypertension

  • have allergies (e.g. food and drug)

  • have an implanted device (e.g., coronary stent, pacemaker, etc.)

  • travel frequently or for an extended period of time

  • want your health directives and end-of-life care wishes known (e.g. DNR)”

For less than $100 per year, MedicAlert clients receive a plethora of life-saving services, like 24/7 wandering and emergency response support, and immediate access for medical personnel of information such as a DNR order, emergency health data and relevant document storage, and physician notification if the MedicAlert response team is activated. The combination of a patient’s preferred device and appropriate service plan for their health concerns makes receiving emergency care much safer, because medical personnel get comprehensive knowledge of their charge’s medications and existing health issues more quickly and accurately than depending on the patient being able to communicate or a family member being clear-headed when their loved one is in a crisis. The MedicAlert Foundation even participates in advocating for those with chronic conditions, and offers free training materials for law enforcement, paramedics, and other first responders, so they know where a patient’s information can be found and how to use the data, as well as specific topics of concern such as wandering in dementia patients and characteristics that may be seen in those with mental illness.

Dr. Marion Collins, MedicAlert Founder, claimed, “I think I can save more lives with MedicAlert than I ever can with my scalpel.” Turns out, he was right. Stories abound from families or patients who report experiences like someone walking by realized a man was very confused and disoriented then saw the MedicAlert bracelet and summoned help; or the health information being available from MedicAlert for a woman who was in a car accident and unresponsive; or the very common situation of a parent with Alzheimer’s wandering off and MedicAlert being able to locate the person for the family.

In honor of MedicAlert Awareness Month, we invite you to browse the MedicAlert Foundation’s website to learn more about these health tools that you’ve probably seen before, but didn’t quite realize their impact and importance.


IronRod Health has been a trusted partner to many physicians, providing monitoring and reassurance to thousands of patients. Our team stands ready to add patients to our remote monitoring program. To learn more, call us at 888-743-3866 or email at


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