Mason Rinks would be studying for exams or working at his internship when he would feel lightheaded and dizzy and sometimes experience palpitations. Away at school and out of his insurance network, he wouldn't know what to do.
The 20-year-old student had been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, a type of arrhythmia, when he was 13. The symptoms had subsided over the years then returned in the fall with the stress of being a college student. Unsure whether to see a doctor when the symptoms reappeared, Rinks would call his mom, who was a state away.
He would usually visit an urgent care center, where they would prescribe beta blockers. The medicine would help for a bit until side effects would prompt him to stop. Rinks felt frustrated. His mom felt helpless.
"Not only are you in another state where they don't take your insurance because you're in a different state, but it's difficult because you have to find the right place to go out of network," Mary Ellen Rinks said. "There are a lot of issues, and first of all, you worry about his safety and making sure he's doing OK."
Rinks returned home to Michigan from Butler University in Indianapolis during his winter break. He saw a cardiologist, Dr. Abdul Alawwa, who recommended Rinks receive Abbott's Confirm Rx, an insertable cardiac monitor that connects to the myMerlin smartphone app.