Cardiac monitoring, based on its terminology alone, should never be taken lightly as it involves close observation of the heart, which is vital for life. This rings truer if you’re going to rely on remote technology with your monitoring as it is mostly concerned with home and unassisted care. The heart is also arguably the best organ that should be monitored consistently, especially after highlighting its crucial role.
Furthermore, the slow rise in the usage of these kinds of devices isn’t at all a surprise since it has numerous benefits. These benefits have since made remote cardiac monitoring a necessity in various hospital and
clinical setups around the world.
The Advantages of Remote Cardiac Monitoring
- Early detection of various cardiac problems is one of the main benefits of remote cardiac monitoring devices. In fact, it’s one of the primary reasons why these devices were developed in the first place. They are able to mitigate heart failure because diagnosis and treatment can be done in such a way that it would be prevented.
- Hospitalization rates would be effectively reduced as well in the process as most serious heart complications that are detected too late readily entail longer stays and returns to the hospital.
- In the past, physicians almost always have to put up with influxes of patients in their offices because of unnecessary follow-ups. This has been effectively addressed by these kinds of devices as well. This also reduces the need for numerous healthcare visits.
- Remote interrogation between physician and patient can be enhanced as well.
- Provides greater overall efficiency for healthcare professionals as it results in proactive care, resulting in better satisfaction among not only patients but doctors as well.
Types of Remote Cardiac Monitoring Devices
Cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) have been in use for decades now but it is only now that they’ve undergone such great leaps in innovation. Plenty of the revolutionary features (having online capability and being automated, to cite but a few common perks) that are found in them have been incorporated into most familiar devices like:
- Mobile cardiac telemetry
- Holter monitors
- Defibrillators (ICDs)
- Cardiac resynchronization devices
- Other implantable cardiac monitors (ICMs)
Important Factors You Should Consider When Choosing a Remote Cardiac Monitoring Device
What’s fundamental when trying to decide on what device you should use is to get informed as much as possible about how these gadgets work and what is compatible with your needs and purposes. Besides this and regardless of the type of monitor that you select, you should also pay attention to, more or less, the following factors:
- Opt for devices that offer the complete package tech-wise:
Since these devices’ strength lie mostly on the technology that powers their capabilities, it’s only wise to get the most out of what they offer. There are a lot of cardiac monitoring brands out there that offer
numerous functions (3-in-1 devices, for example, which can function as an MCT, Holter monitor, and can also detect cellular events).
Besides having Wi-Fi compatibility that allows local and remote communication, it should also have the ability to be reconfigured remotely. It should be able to support live and complete patient visibility at
all times and shouldn’t experience any hassles in transmitting arrhythmia occurrences and other cardiac events. Bi-directional communication and automatic data analysis are equally helpful in improving convenience for both parties.
You also have to pay close attention to the programming capabilities of the device. Can it be programmed to do its essential functions (downloading data, monitoring, etc.) during specific times of day only? Does it allow event-only monitoring? More up-to-date systems can be programmed to do the transmissions in such a way that it would be in synch with the patient’s follow-up dates. Take note that not all systems are able to detect heart failure so you have to double-check this if you are more at risk of the said condition. This is why it’s best to go for newer devices.
- Be mindful of the kind and amount of information that the device is able to relay:
As much as possible, the device should also be thorough when it comes to relaying vital information to the healthcare provider. It should be able to offer a complete overview of overall cardiac health and be able to transmit data like changes in cardiac rhythm, fluid retention, or if it happens to encounter an error or has malfunctioned. Knowing whether the device is still working in tip-top shape at all times is nothing short of a necessity.
- For doctors, it should provide convenience in patient management:
One of the nifty advantages of remote monitoring is that it allows doctors to monitor numerous patients at a time. For them to do this properly, they would need an efficient patient data management software to
complement their cardiac monitoring device. There are plenty of software that are available for this purpose, but it’s best, again, to go for the ones that make your job easier.
For this, you would need to rely as much as possible on automation. The software should be able to automatically identify patients and their corresponding devices. It should be patient-centric in its approach, especially when it comes to making reports. Since mobility is a must as well, you have to have the ability to access the data anywhere and anytime.
- Ease-of-use and comfort should be prioritized:
Just like in any other innovative device that can fulfill a vital activity in daily life, your device shouldn’t at all be difficult to use as much as possible. This is why it’s best to go for brands that make it known
from the outset that their devices are patient-friendly.
In the same manner, comfort and convenience of the patient should be assured while he’s using it as well. Oftentimes, setups require the patient to wear a patch at all times for accurate and consistent monitoring. It shouldn’t at all interfere with his daily activities and should be very amenable to them, even acts that would cause it to be wet (like sweating or taking a bath). In short, it shouldn’t take long for him to get used to his device and should adapt to it before long.
Sathya Kumar is the Founder & CEO at Techindia Infoway Pvt Ltd., Chennai. Techindia is Asia’s largest provider of healthcare management solutions for sleep scoring services, exceptional remote healthcare diagnostics and patient monitoring, with a proven track of high performance for highly regulated healthcare industries and for the patients globally.