Technological advances over the past decades have allowed improved diagnosis and monitoring of patients with acute coronary syndromes as well as patients with advanced heart failure. High-quality digital recordings transmitted wirelessly by cellular telephone networks have augmented the prehospital use of transportable electrocardiogram machines as well as implantable devices for arrhythmia monitoring and therapy. The impact of prehospital electrocardiogram recording and interpretation in patients suspected of acute myocardial infarction should not be underestimated. It enables a more widespread access to rapid reperfusion therapy, thereby reducing treatment delay, morbidity and mortality. Further, continuous electrocardiogram monitoring has improved arrhythmia diagnosis and dynamic ST-segment changes have been shown to provide important prognostic information in patients with acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction. Likewise, remote recording or monitoring of arrhythmias and vital signs seem to improve outcome and reduce the necessity of re-admissions or outpatient contacts in patients with heart failure or arrhythmias. In the future telemonitoring and diagnosis is expected to further impact the way we practice cardiology and provide better care for the patient with cardiovascular disease.
- Acute myocardial infarction