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Pocket-Sized Heart Monitor Ready to Go

New ECG device will help patients and EMT workers

SATURDAY, Jan. 12, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- A very good thing is soon going to be available in a very small package.

The Food and Drug Administration has given the go-ahead for Australia-based MicroMedical Industries to market the first portable, pocket-sized version of an electrocardiograph (ECG) machine.

The Pocketview ECG is a miniature version of the standard ECG, a television-sized device used by doctors to monitor the heart's health by recording its electrical signals. The ECG monitor, once known as an EKG, is the standard for measuring heart rate, irregular heartbeats and any other deviation from normal heart patterns.

Twelve connections are placed on the patient's body, and the Pocketview itself can be carried by emergency medical personnel or even the patient himself. It can be hooked up to a computer monitor or even to a hospital network for viewing.

According to HealthDay, a top physician from the American Heart Association (AHA) believes the miniature ECG machine represents a major breakthrough in monitoring the heart.

"Just the fact that it's more portable, when we're trying to get more information promptly in the field in patients that have heart attacks, could potentially be an advantage," Dr. Sidney Smith, chief science officer of the AHA. Emergency medical technicians already lug around briefcase-size EKG equipment, but stopping to set that up takes time that a smaller size unit should cut, according to Smith.

This site from the ECG Library gives a detailed explanation as to how ECGs work and how they've developed during the past half century.

Here is the FDA Talk Paper that announces government approval.

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