A variety of health care trackers, including the Apple Watch, offer consumers the ability to record their ECG signals. Though the claims about these offerings are mostly accurate, they may be misleading to those that believe these devices mimic the capabilities of in-hospital ECGs. In reality, wrist-worn and other wearable ECG monitors are only single-lead devices that can pretty much only detect easy to spot arrhythmias. Hospital-grade ECGs, on the other hand, are 12-lead devices that are used by cardiologists to help diagnose a whole host of cardiovascular conditions, not only arrhythmias but also ischemic changes, location of changes (anterior, inferior), QT interval changes, etc. Because 12-lead ECGs require the operator to know how and where to place the leads, true ECG monitoring is really only possible in a clinical setting.
A company based outside of Los Angeles, California, has developed an at-home 12-lead ECG monitoring system that allows patients to record their own ECGs and share those tracings with their cardiologists. The company’s Personal Cardiac Assistant (PCA 500) system uses flexible strips to combine the electronic leads and to help position them around the chest area. Instructions meant to be easily understood by average people help to make sure that each of the twelve leads is placed in the correct spot. Once the system is ready and the leads are placed, the control unit is activated to make a recording. The recording can then be easily transferred to the patient’s smartphone, using an accompanying app, and the data then shared with the person’s physician over QT Medical’s cloud platform.
The PCA 500 is FDA cleared and is indicated to provide hospital-quality ECG readings for cardiologists to make diagnostic and therapeutic decisions off of. As of last month, the company has begun making it available for purchase in the United States via a prescription from the patient’s cardiologist.
For more info, visit QT Medical website at: https://www.qtmedical.com/