How Remote-Monitoring Using a 12-Lead ECG Reduces Readmissions & Costs


The Importance of Early Heart Disease Detection

With more than 40% of middle-aged adults having coronary artery disease without knowing, early detection is essential in preventing patients from having a heart attack. Detecting possible heart problems early can prevent disease progression and improve patient outcomes in the long run. Tests such as electrocardiograms can identify early signs of cardiovascular disease in patients when it is most treatable. With over thirty different types of heart diseases, all complex, early detection and prevention is more important than ever.

Understanding Types of Heart Diseases

There are many terms and concepts to understand before looking into detecting heart disease and how it can affect patients. “The term ‘heart disease’ refers to several types of heart conditions. In the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to heart attack”, according to the CDC

Arrhythmias are a condition related to heart disease that refers to any change from the normal sequence of electrical impulses. Less severe arrhythmias can eventually develop into more serious conditions and lead to complications. If action is not taken to treat AFib soon enough it can cause stroke and permanent brain damage.

Ischemia is, “a condition in which the blood flow and thus oxygen, is restricted or reduced in a part of the body”, defined by Ischemic heart disease is another term for coronary heart disease and can ultimately lead to a heart attack. Silent ischemia is a type of ischemia which involves no pain, causing patients to have a heart attack with no warning symptoms. Patients wearing a mobile ECG frequently, for typically 24-48 hours can help doctors diagnose the problem.  

Lastly, a myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack, is the damaging or death of an area of the heart muscle resulting from a blocked blood supply to that area. A 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) can be used to diagnose a heart attack by showing if the heart electrical activity is normal or irregular. An ECG also measures the electrical activity passing through the heart muscle. This helps a cardiologist discover if parts of the heart are too large or are being overworked. 

Why is Detecting Heart Disease Early Important?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that more than 91,000 heart disease deaths that occur each year are actually preventable.  “Risk-factor reduction, early intervention and successful treatment are required to reduce the number of preventable deaths related to heart disease”, according to the AMA. Detecting heart disease early gives doctors the chance to intervene and treat the patient’s issues before the problem reaches a critical point. 

“Identifying coronary artery disease in its earliest stages could mean the difference between life and death for thousands of people who don’t realize they are at risk from this potentially life-threatening condition”, says Providence. Early detection creates a higher chance of a successful outcome and can halt the body from developing life threatening symptoms. 

Methods of Detecting Heart Disease

Heart disease can be identified through routine monitoring that includes a series of noninvasive tests that can help your doctor determine if you’re at increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Cardiologists are now using these tests to help them pinpoint patients who are already developing hardening and narrowing of the arteries years before they display symptoms, based on information from Highland Medical.

WebMD states, to diagnose heart disease you can use a 12-lead ECG to assess heart damage, which can also monitor the heart’s electrical activity. Combined with blood tests, an ECG provides data for the initial assessment of the patient’s condition. Images of the heart and coronary arteries done with angiograms and radioisotope scans to locate specific areas of damage and blockage can also be used. 

Taking Control of Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America with recent research showing that more than 40% of middle-aged adults had coronary artery disease without their knowledge, according to Providence. Monitoring risk factors such as diabetes, family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, an unhealthy diet, along with undergoing heart health screenings can help identify red flags. 

If a patient is having symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, lightheadedness or confusion, heart palpitations, rapid pulse, shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue or a decline in ability to exercise, a portable 12-lead ECG machine can help identify if those symptoms are heart related, according to Mayo Clinic. 

SmartHeart® Provides Peace of Mind

SmartHeart® is a portable 12-lead ECG technology that makes it easy for doctors to detect the presence of heart disease early. With the ability to perform a full ECG in only 30 seconds, understanding your patient’s heart condition has never been easier. Reports can be viewed in seconds, any time, from anywhere, with the test itself being simple enough to be performed by someone with any level of experience. 

Our portable ECG monitoring device gives doctors a method of continually monitoring patients’ hearts in the comfort of the patients’ own home, once discharged from care. Providers and patients are now no longer confined to a hospital space to monitor symptoms.

Heart disease can be daunting to patients. SmartHeart® is an innovative technology, giving providers and patients access to a 12-lead ECG anytime, anywhere.

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