Towards a Healthier Future: Harnessing the Potential of MCT to Combat the Global Cardiovascular Disease Burden

Posted on March 18, 2024

The Cardiovascular disease burden has been steadily rising over the past few years, which has not been aided by continually deplorating lifestyle habits and pandemics like the Coronavirus. In fact, we’re well on course for disaster with death tolls from cardiovascular illnesses rising sharply by over 7.5 million since 1990 to date. If figures from the NCD alliance are anything to go by, then it’s bound to get even worse, with CVD deaths estimated to cross the 23 million mark by 2030. Amid all the doom and gloom, MCT technology is coming up as a potentially formidable way to help halt CVD in its tracks.

Mobile Cardiac Telemetry

What is MCT and how does it all work?

Before we proceed any further, it’s important to understand how the technology works so that we can grasp its full potential. Mobile cardiac telemetry, or MCT for short, is a way of monitoring the heart’s electrical activity by way of portable devices that attach to the body. This technology makes it possible to remotely monitor heartbeats and, more importantly, easily pick up anomalies such as arrhythmias.

Compared to Holter monitors which track all your heartbeats within a certain period, typically 24 or 48 hours, MCTs only record important events like the occurrence of an arrhythmia.

How MCT is helping to tilt the CVD battle in our favor

1. Shoring up the weaknesses of traditional methods

Contemporary methods of picking up heart disease typically involve in-person monitoring or once in a while tracing of heart activity. These traditional solutions make it hard to detect certain types of arrhythmias, more so those that occur sporadically and therefore may not be picked up in one instance of testing.

To get around this, healthcare facilities are turning to MCT technology, which is helping them to keep tabs on a patient’s vitals around the clock. This has resulted in:

1.A wider diagnostic net
2.More prompt detection of heart problems
3.Better diagnostic accuracy

By opening up the diagnostic period, there’s a great chance that a physician can spot various anomalies with regard to the heartbeat which may hint at there being more that a doctor should investigate.

2.Making healthcare more affordable

One of the reasons why heart disease remains the leading killer worldwide, claiming well over a third of all fatalities, is the prohibitive cost of quality cardiac care. Many lack the funds needed for diagnosis, let alone treatment, and this has created a healthcare divide that only works in the favor of cardiovascular disease.

That’s beginning to change with the onset of MCT technologies, which provide a more effective and affordable form of outpatient ECG monitoring. This helps to offset some of the costs associated with ECG diagnostics, including admission-related expenses, which is going a long way to make quality cardiac care more affordable.

With better affordability naturally comes more access opportunities even for patients who are traditionally at the bottom of the pile in terms of access. By helping to reduce the financial barrier, MCT technology is slowly helping to lower the CVD burden.

3.Manual triggers to reinforce medical diagnostics

Many MCT models include patient-triggered symptomatic tests. In other words, whenever the patient experiences a symptom such as sudden chest pain, for example, they can simply press the button that records the ECG at the time of the symptom.

This can be especially important in situations where certain physical activities such as exercise or strenuous tasks aggravate symptoms of a cardiovascular disease. In such a case, this information can help the physician to understand better what environment and lifestyle triggers are at play. So they can guide their patients to make more informed lifestyle choices that may decrease the severity of symptoms, improve the quality of life and increase life span.

4.Auto-triggers for reinforcing diagnostics

In addition to patient-trigger recordings, many MCT devices add another layer of diagnostics with auto-triggered records. These typically set in upon the violation of certain biometric parameters as configured by the ECG technician.

Whenever these violations occur, the device takes an ECG recording and transmits this data in real time to a data center where technicians can scrutinize the findings. This is especially important in cases where the patient experiences an arrhythmia but doesn’t know about it since it’s asymptomatic or occurs without any tangible symptoms from the patient’s perspective.

Overall, auto-triggered MCTs have been shown to deliver superior diagnostic results compared to traditional cardiac monitoring technologies and can be very helpful in diagnosing silent arrhythmias such as:

1.Atrial fibrillation
2.Atrial flutter
3.Ventricular arrhythmias
4.Cardiomyopathy and so on

By helping to bring silent arrhythmias to the light early on, it becomes possible for these problems to be detected swiftly so that corrective action can be taken well ahead of time, which goes a long way to reducing CVD mortality.

5. Widing the diagnostic net with expansive biometric parameters

Modern MCT devices are also going a step further by widening the diagnostic net to consider even more biometric parameters than what was traditionally prioritized. Complementing traditional ECG information, this additional data is improving both diagnostic turnaround and accuracy.

With these technologies, we’re now starting to notice a reduction in the use of ECG with diary-based monitoring. This is not only lowering the work burden on the patient but it’s also helping to pick up important metrics that the patient may forget to record altogether. All in all, this expansion of biometric parameters helps both caregivers and recipients to make more informed management decisions.

MCT can be a game changer in the CVD fight

Mobile Cardiac Telemetry might just be the secret weapon that can help us turn the tide against heart disease. From reinforcing diagnostics with manual and patient-triggered monitoring to patching up the failings of traditional monitoring solutions, it’s easy to see why many healthcare professionals have placed so much faith in MCT technologies. Now that you know of MCT’s immense potential in helping us win the CVD battle, you should also be aware of who best to partner with. For world-class MCT services that give your patients a fighting chance against heart disease, be sure to reach out to Cardiac Rhythm.