Patients don't always have a recurring problem on cue. Without being able to actually see a cardiac event, a doctor is working without the key information required to make a determination. Cardiac event monitors are small, portable, and can serve as a doctor's eyes when the patient is at home, work, or anyplace away from the hospital or doctor's office. Being able to send patients home with cardiac event monitors can offer the peace of mind of having a method to see an event before anything more critical develops.
Doctors often use event monitors when arrhythmia is suspected. Patients who enter a doctor's office with symptoms of arrhythmia are usually very concerned. While it can be a silent problem, the issues the patient is having can alarm him or her. Palpitations, or a feeling that the heart is skipping beats, dizziness, shortness of breath, a pressure sensation in the chest, and general fatigue and weakness are the common problems a patient will notice. Several tests can be done in an office, such as an electrocardiogram and stress test, but this is not always successful in determining if there is a problem. The next step could be an echocardiogram, or cardiac catheterization, but before using these methods, an event monitor is typically the next step.
A Better Method
A device, such as the Nasiff Cardiocard digital holter system that features a holter recorder, analysis software, and patient database program, is a strong possible alternative to higher priced event monitors. As this device, like higher priced event monitors, has selectable arrhythmia variable settings, it is a monitor that a doctor can feel at ease sending a patient home using. Other devices, such as the Cardiostation Advantage Event Monitoring Software, which can follow patients with pacemakers via trans-telephonic transmitters, cardiac event recorders, and electronic on-screen customizable ECG strip labels, is also a selection that can help make a determination regarding cardiac issues.
Dealing with Hardware and Software Issues
A source of frustration for the physician is the technical aspect of using event monitors. Items to look for when ordering event monitors include secure access, and the doctor should have the ability to set user level restrictions and track usage, as this will keep the monitor from being reset or mishandled. Buying online or from re-sellers doesn't leave the monitor without support. Medical Device Depot, for instance, offers some products with 24 hour, 7 days a week live technical service with a trained, professional representative.
An aspect that a physician might look for when seeking event monitors is whether the device is upgradable. Since many event monitors can be connected to a computer or even networked, it is a good idea to check compatibility and ask if the product can be upgraded. Most PC-ready devices, such as event monitors, are upgrade-ready. No matter what questions a doctor might have regarding the abilities of monitors, it's best to deal with companies who have representatives who are able to answer technical questions regarding the devices, since this is usually a sign there will be less frustration if technical issues do arise.