Wearable AECG Monitoring
Wearable Ambulatory ECG Monitoring (AECG) is the newest & most rapidly growing segment of ambulatory cardiac (AECG) monitoring. Wearable AECG monitoring has many distinct benefits to both patients and clinicians as patients can now wear AECG technologies for extended periods of time with far greater comfort, convenience and greater ease of use. Additionally, clinicians are moving towards wearable AECG monitoring due to the significant increase in ECG data improving the diagnostic yield for each ambulatory study & reducing the need to redundant, repeat testing.
Holter monitoring is the first area of AECG monitoring to embrace wearable technology with extending monitoring called Long Term Continuous ECG monitoring (3-30 days). Over the last 10 years, virtually all of the clinical evidence suggests that AECG monitoring for periods of 7, 14, 21 or 30 days provides superior clinical value in detecting abnormal cardiac arrhythmias as compared to traditional 24 hour Holter monitoring. In fact, studies show that up to 68% of all 24-hour Holter monitoring studies are inconclusive thus warranting the need for another, more expensive long term study. With this proving to be the case, most physicians are now focused on monitoring methods that are easier for the patient to wear for extended monitoring durations with the review of every beat to increase the likelihood of capturing any abnormal ECG activity.
Wearable AECG monitoring technologies provide clinicians with a more comprehensive snapshot of the patients ECG activity with a great focus on early detection & management of various cardiac arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation. As many know, early detection of A Fib is proving to paramount in predicting risk for adverse events such as TIA & stroke.
Wearable ambulatory ECG technology is preferred as the primary method by patients due to the fact that there are no lead wires, no need to remove during bathing and the ease of use to report symptom with a single press of a button. In fact, many patients say that the wearables are so comfortable that they actually forget that the monitor is even being worn.
In addition to the clinical benefits, physicians prefer wearable AECG monitoring technology due to the ease of application (hookup) for staff members. With the advent of the patch, the staff now has a simpler hookup protocol with a peel & stick technology. The only down side to the wearable patch reported by clinicians is the lack of multiple vectors (lack of differentiation between atrial & ventricular) and the wearable patch technologies pose limitations due to monitoring duration (7-10 days maximum), skin irritation and placement can often be challenging for certain patients. The wearable patch is a good tool for the front lines but proving to be limiting for complex patients which require 2 or more vectors.
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