Posted on March 16, 2021
Not everyone likes to visit a hospital or clinic unless there is a pressing need. Most of the heart patients keep postponing a visit to the doctor as long as there are no alarming signs. The problem with heart disease is that sometimes the signs are not alarming, but the vital signs need the supervision of an expert so that precautionary steps can be taken to prevent the situation from escalating. Using a remote heart monitoring device can be one of the best possible options.
Remote heart monitoring device is a small gadget prescribed by the doctor or the physician so that he or she can monitor the patient’s heart condition from a distance, remotely. The device is so small that it can be easily carried in the front pocket of the shirt (preferably near the heart) or taped on the chest. It is then connected to a mobile app through Bluetooth. If the patient does not want to use a mobile app, the device can directly send data to the Cloud through a standard mobile carrier service.
Advanced technology enables the device to catch even the smallest possible sounds and aberrations in the heartbeat. These small anomalies and irregularities are called heart arrhythmias. If the arrhythmias occur consistently, there is a problem in the heart and medical help is needed. The device can easily differentiate between other sounds and the sounds of the heart and the flow of the blood. The settings of the device can be customized as per the patient’s needs.
Take for example the wearable ECG Holter device. It is a tiny, wearable device that tracks the heart rhythm of a patient. The patient doesn’t necessarily have to wear the device for a very long duration. Sometimes a doctor may advise the patient to wear the device for one or two days and during those days, the device records all the patterns in the heartbeat. After this, a Holter monitor test is performed to check the electrocardiogram. This is usually done when the traditional ECG doesn’t provide the required information.
Normally, when a problem in the heart is detected, a patient visits the doctor, and a traditional electrocardiogram is performed to find any discrepancies in the heartbeat.
Sometimes these discrepancies are so infrequent that, although they can be an indication of an impending problem, they are not caught by the lab ECG. It is not practical to keep the patient near the ECG machine without admitting, which is not required for many cases.
The doctor needs to gather heart arrhythmia data for a long period of time, maybe a couple of days, or even more. Then the doctor advises the patient to use a remote heart monitoring device. It continuously records the heartbeat and blood flow sounds and transmits the data to a Cloud server. The data can be transferred through a mobile app or directly using a carrier connection. This data can be then analyzed either using a specialized software or directly by the physician.
This way, even if there are some irregularities, the patient doesn’t have to visit the hospital, or the doctor and the doctor can make recommendations via a phone call or a video chat. Only in conditions where the patient needs to see a doctor immediately, an alarm is raised.
A remote cardiac event recorder or a remote heart monitoring device can also be used if the patient’s heartbeat needs to be monitored round-the-clock. Triggers and alarms can be set according to the condition of the patient.
Chronic heart conditions can be serious and they need 24 x 7 monitoring of the patient. But since it is impractical to keep the patient under supervision all the time, a mechanism is required that enables the doctors to keep a close watch on the patient’s heartbeat. A remote heart monitoring device empowers the doctors with such a capability.
The heartbeat gives many indications before a heart attack or congestive heart failure. These indications begin to manifest early on, sometimes even a few months before the actual ailment takes place. Sometimes a patient keeps feeling normal even until a few minutes before the heart attack or the heart failure. Consequently, for a patient, sometimes, it is near to impossible to detect the impending problem.
The heartbeat on the other hand, tells the real story. Thousands of heartbeats are recorded and specialized software, or even the trained eyes of a doctor, can detect the problem with a single glance.
Since arrhythmias can be detected well in advance, preventive measures can be taken, and the situation can be stopped from deteriorating. If the heartbeat can be analyzed in advance, visits to the emergency room can be reduced. In most of the cases, when preventive measures are taken, there is no need for hospitalization.
Remote heart monitoring devices also reduce burden on the health care system. In the times of the Covid-19 pandemic there are many chronic patients who don’t want to visit hospitals not just because they don’t want to burden the healthcare system, they also fear getting infected. Heart patients are more vulnerable to the Covid-19 infection.
Aside from that, with timely medication and lifestyle changes costly treatments and hospitalization routines can be avoided. Patients enjoy a better quality of life because they know that their heartbeats are constantly being monitored and they don’t have to worry perpetually.
Another advantage of using a cardiac event recorder is that cardiac events can be predicted way in advance and there is no danger of a sudden attack happening. In fact, no heart attack is sudden. Just like before a storm pressure conditions build up over a long period of time, the same thing happens before a heart attack. There are ample indications in the form of irregular heartbeats but since a regular person cannot detect the irregularities, it seems as if the heart attack has happened suddenly, out of the blue.
By analyzing heart rhythm, healthcare providers can tell weeks before the attack that precautions need to be taken or the patient needs to visit the nearest hospital.