Traditional Holter monitors have long been the standard in ambulatory ECG monitoring, recording for 24-48hrs. However, many arrhythmias tend to be short-lived, paroxysmal and even asymptomatic making documentation in many patients very difficult. To overcome this, patch Holter monitors have been developed as a means of recording the heart activity of patients over a longer period, able to be worn for up to 2 weeks.
The miniaturisation of recording devices and advances in solid state technology means there has been a revolution in hardware design. Where traditional Holter monitors required electrodes to be stuck via leads onto a patient’s skin, patch Holter monitors have electrodes embedded in an adhesive patch. The size of patch Holter monitors, as well as the fact they’re showerproof, means that patients can continue with their daily activities, unrestricted for longer study periods.
CardioScan Medical Director Dr Harry Mond explains that the myPatch Holter provided an alternative to ECG and traditional Holters, which were too restrictive on patient movement and activities to be worn for any significant length of time. “Many heart symptoms are detected beyond a 30 second ECG or a 24-48hr test, as in the case of a traditional Holter. myPatch changes what’s possible for heart patients and provides a new, more effective technology for tackling one of our biggest health issues.”
The ability to have patients wear myPatch Holters for up to two weeks means they undergo a more comprehensive heart study and reduces the need for re-testing. The extended testing period, as well as patients being able to continue with daily activities, ensures a greater likelihood of diagnosis. CardioScan data shows there is 55% more significant arrhythmias found beyond 24hrs of wearing a Holter monitor – proving that multi-day analysis provides a higher level of detection.
The use of patch Holters is now also internationally recognised as the diagnostic standard for long term monitoring due to superior detection yields – as stated in the 2017 ISHNE-HRS expert consensus statement on ambulatory ECG and external cardiac monitoring/telemetry:“…due to technological enhancements, the yield of detected arrhythmias is expected to increase proportionally. For example, patients wearing a patch-based ECG monitor for up to 14 days, the yield of AF beyond 48 hr (the traditional Holter monitor duration) is substantial (Barrett et al., 2014; Turakhia et al., 2015).
The expert consensus also stated the significant increase in yields typically detected by longer test periods made possible by patch Holters: