What Do I Look for in an Implantable Cardiac Monitor?
By Dr. David Hayes MD
As the global medical community continues the hard work of delivering patient care in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic, it is especially important for us as physicians to pay attention to where we might be able to streamline workloads - both for ourselves and for the dedicated staff who support us - to allow us to focus as much time as possible on necessary patient care.
When it comes to arrhythmia monitoring, choosing the right ICM has the potential to create big efficiency payoffs for our practices. At a time when we are working to flatten the pandemic curve and ensure that hospitals continue to have capacity for patients, those payoffs are harder to ignore. That’s why I pay special attention to whether an ICM is set up to help minimize the rate of false positives.
An ICM that can differentiate ectopic beats from atrial fibrillation has the potential to save physicians and supporting staff a lot of precious time previously spent reviewing non-actionable episodes.
Afzal et al. recently found that up to 52% of false positive atrial fibrillation episodes recorded by ICMs were due to premature ectopic beats1. An ICM that can accurately differentiate the ectopic beats from atrial fibrillation has the potential to save physicians and supporting staff a lot of precious time previously spent reviewing non-actionable episodes.
So what ICM design features might successfully differentiate ectopic beats from atrial fibrillation?
With its unique RhythmCheck algorithm, BIOMONITOR IIIm was shown in a recent analysis to eliminate 72% of the false positive AF detections caused by ectopic beats2. By not interpreting single ectopic beats as the onset of atrial fibrillation, the new monitor’s RhythmCheck algorithm was able to achieve a 72% reduction in false positives in patients with ectopic beats. Given that false positive episodes of atrial fibrillation have historically been responsible for one of the biggest time burdens for physicians and support personnel responsible for analyzing ICM transmissions, algorithms like RhythmCheck are key to maximizing efficiency for physicians and others doing this clinical work.
At a time when we’re all keeping an eye on the pandemic curve and hospital capacity, that’s a potential opportunity we should be especially sensitive to. To find out more about BIOTRONIK's latest ICM, click here.
- Afzal. Et al Incidence of false-positive transmissions during remote rhythm monitoring with implantable loop recorders. Heart Rhythm 2020;17:75–80.
- BIOTRONIK Data on file: Performance of BIOMONITOR IIIm Ectopy Rejection Parameter in Patients with Ectopy.