What are the Different Types of Holter Monitors?
Also known as continuous EKGs, Holter monitors consistently record your heart rhythm for 24 to 48 hours. About the size of a pack of playing cards, this battery-powered portable device can either be clipped to a belt or stored in a pocket. Several wires connect the device to a series of sensors called electrodes that are stuck to your chest using adhesive patches. These electrodes detect your heart’s electrical signals so that the monitor can record your heart rhythm.
Wireless Holter Monitor
Although wireless monitors do still have wires that connect to your chest through sensors, the key difference is that they use a cell phone to transmit data to your healthcare provider. This type of monitor also tends to have a longer recording time than standard Holter monitors. However, they do require users to write down the time of symptoms and change the batteries in the device every 1 to 2 days.
Event monitors are also worn throughout the day, have wires that connect the device to sensors, and even use adhesive patches to stick electrodes to your chest just like Holter monitors. However, event monitors do not perpetually monitor your heart rhythm like Holter monitors do. Instead, they only record your heart’s electrical activity when you are experiencing symptoms. Event monitors are also typically smaller than Holter monitors since they store significantly less data.
One of the smallest kinds of event monitors, postevent recorders can be worn like a wristwatch or carried in a pocket. One of the only devices that does not require chest sensors, postevent recorders need to be activated as soon as symptoms appear. Unfortunately, these kinds of monitors may miss important data such as abnormal heart rhythms that occur before the onset of symptoms.
Presymptom Memory Loop Recorders
Also known as continuous loop event recorders, these monitors are about the size of a small cell phone. A series of wires connect the device to the patient’s chest using sensors, but the monitor can be carried in a pocket or clipped to a belt. Presymptom memory loop recorders are set up to be constantly recording and deleting data. When patients start experiencing symptoms, they press a button on the device to halt the normal erase process. This makes a recording showing data a few minutes before, during, and after users notice symptoms.
Autodetect recorders are about the size of your palm of your hand and are connected to your chest through an array of wires and sensors. This type of monitor does not need to be activated when symptoms occur. The device detects abnormal heart rhythms and automatically records then sends the data to your healthcare provider.
Implantable Loop Recorders
This type of device is typically used if other event monitors are unable to provide enough reliable data for medical professionals to interpret. Implantable loop recorders are tiny pieces of equipment, usually no larger than a pack of gum, that do not rely on any type of wires or chest sensors. Instead, This kind of event monitor is carefully inserted directly under the skin on your chest.
Although this type of monitor operates in a similar fashion to a wireless Holter monitor, the key difference is that the Zio monitor contains its data in a single unit that can stay on a patients chest up to 14 days. After the two weeks are up, the device can be mailed to the company that developed the Zio so that they can have the data delivered to your healthcare provider.
Physicians Ancillary Systems | Holter Monitoring
At the end of the day, you want a Holter monitor that works when you need it to with minimal patient input. We provide 3-channel digital Holter monitors for increased signal quality and rhythm recognition. You’ll achieve Advanced Arrhythmia Detection with our FDA-approved analysis platform and certified technicians. Our service team does all of the monitoring and scanning of data to build a full report ready for physician review.
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