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A client/server system for remote diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmias.

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Department of Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, USA.


Health care practitioners are often faced with the task of interpreting complex heart rhythms from electrocardiograms (ECGs) produced by 12-lead ECG machines, ambulatory (Holter) monitoring systems, and intensive-care unit monitors. Usually, the practitioner caring for the patient does not have specialized training in cardiology or in ECG interpretation; and commercial programs that interpret 12-lead ECGs have been well-documented in the medical literature to perform poorly at analyzing cardiac rhythm. We believe that a system capable of providing comprehensive ECG interpretation as well as access to online consultations will be beneficial to the health care system. We hypothesized that we could develop a client-server based telemedicine system capable of providing access to (1) an on-line knowledge-based system for remote diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmias and (2) an on-line cardiologist for real-time interactive consultation using readily available resources on the Internet. Furthermore, we hypothesized that Macintosh and Microsoft Windows-based personal computers running an X server could function as the delivery platform for the developed system. Although we were successful in developing such a system that will run efficiently on a UNIX-based work-station, current personal computer X server software are not capable of running the system efficiently.

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