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Future Cardiol. 2013 May;9(3):325-33. doi: 10.2217/fca.13.13.

A novel patch for heart rhythm monitoring: is the Holter monitor obsolete?

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Department of Cardiology, Scripps Memorial Hospital, 9850 Genesee Avenue, 940 La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


A number of substantial improvements to the 60-year-old concept of the Holter monitor have recently been developed. One promising advance is the Zio(®) Patch (iRhythm Technologies, Inc., CA, USA), a small 2 × 5-inch patch, which can continuously record up to 14 days of a single ECG channel of cardiac rhythm without the need for removal during exercise, sleeping or bathing. Its ease-of-use, which enables optimal long-term monitoring, has been established in the ambulatory setting, although some insurance carriers have been reluctant to reimburse appropriately for this advance, an issue characteristic of other heart monitors, treated as 'loss-leaders.' In this article, in addition to discussing possible reasons for this reluctance, a novel model for direct-to-consumer marketing of heart monitoring, outside of the traditional health insurance reimbursement model, is also presented. Additional current and future advances in heart rhythm recording are also discussed. Such potentially revolutionary opportunities have only recently become possible as a result of technologic advances.

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