Mobile telemonitoring for arrhythmias in outpatients in the Republic of Georgia: a brief report of a pilot study.
As the very first trial of mobile telemedicine in the Republic of Georgia, in June-December 2010 we investigated 35 outpatients with different types of arrhythmia (male/female ratio=16/19; 12-80 years old), among them 5 patients with concomitant epilepsy. The control group comprised 7 clinically healthy sportsmen (soccer players, all men; 15-17 years old), during a 30-min velo ergometer stress test. A three-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) loop recorder (Vitaphone BT 3300; Vitasystems GmbH, Mannheim, Germany) was used in automatic mode, using special LRMA software (MDT, Lázně Bohdaneč, Czech Republic) and a Nokia (Espoo, Finland) model 6730 Symbian phone. Automatically recorded arrhythmia events were transmitted from the loop recorder by Bluetooth(®) (Bluetooth SIG, Inc., Kirkland, WA) to a phone and then by 3G (through our partner mobile operator, MagtiCom Ltd. [Tbilsi, Georgia]) to the Vitasystems server in Germany and were available to Georgian physicians via e-mail/Internet. Arrhythmias were recorded/monitored during 7-68 h of observation. The number of automatically recorded ECG events varied between 3 and 170 per observation, or 0.4-10.7 hourly. Cases of sinus brady- and tachyarrhythmia, sinus node weakness syndrome, atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, supraventricular premature complexes, and ventricular premature complexes were correctly recognized by automatic recognition software and recorded. In 3 patients and 1 sportsman previously unspecified (despite multiple investigations), arrhythmias were recorded: paroxysmal tachycardia (n=1), sinus node weakness syndrome (n=1), and ventricular premature complexes (n=2). In 3 cases (all women) light insomnia and nervousness were reported. In 2 patients with neurosis (both elderly men, 1 with epilepsy) we had to stop investigation prematurely because of anxiety/agitation. Mobile telecardiology represents feasible methodology to monitor arrhythmias in outpatients in Georgia, promoting earlier discharge of non-life-threatening cases, improving patients' comfort of life, and increasing their mobility with enhanced safety. Mobile telehealth might also represent significant cost-saving for insurance companies (this is an ongoing study). Finally, in remote areas mobile telemonitoring of patients will improve quality of care by timely provision of a second opinion in cases when local expertise is not sufficient.
Partners for Health NGO, Tbilisi, Georgia. firstname.lastname@example.org
SourceTelemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association 18:7 2012 Sep pg 570-1
Aged, 80 and over
Home Care Services
Pub Type(s)Comparative Study
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't