How Cardiac Telemetry Monitoring Is Helping Heart Patients at Home
For healthcare providers, cardiac telemetry monitoring is standard practice. But for patients and caregivers trying to wrap their heads around at-home cardiac care, it’s a challenging new experience. Here’s what you need to know about cardiac telemetry monitoring — including which conditions it can help with.
What is cardiac telemetry monitoring?
Telemetry is the process of recording and transmitting the readings of an instrument while the patient remains active. Cardiac telemetry measures heart-related vital signs, which are delivered to your care team remotely. That gives your providers the ability to track and assess your health data, make recommendations or diagnoses, and prescribe treatment — all without needing you to visit an office or hospital.
What conditions can cardiac telemetry monitoring help?
An arrhythmia is a problem with your heart rate or rhythm. When your heart beats too fast, too slowly or irregularly, it may not be able to pump enough blood to the body. Cardiac telemetry monitoring helps by alerting your care team to any irregularities so they can intervene early.
Congestive heart failure (CHF)
Heart failure happens when your heart doesn’t pump blood as well as it should. Heart rate can help providers identify patients at higher risk of heart failure, so this type of cardiac telemetry monitoring focuses on changes in heart rate.
High blood pressure
Hypertension wears away at blood vessels over time, which increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Using cardiac telemetry monitoring, providers are automatically alerted to these increases, which helps them make better-informed care decisions.
Chronic diseases such as diabetes have been shown to contribute to heart failure, and people who have type 2 diabetes are 2–4 times more likely to develop heart failure than people without diabetes. In that way, blood glucose monitoring works in tandem with cardiac telemetry so your care team can intervene when you need them most.
People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing heart failure. One way to fight obesity is to make lifestyle changes, which can be monitored and supported using devices such as a digital weight scale.
What devices are used for cardiac telemetry monitoring?
An emergency watch tracks heart rate and alerts providers to changes or irregularities. A watch can also help patients and providers flag a lack of physical activity, which is a key indicator of obesity and recurrent heart failure.
Blood pressure cuff
A blood pressure cuff automatically sends readings to providers without any extra steps for the patient. With a remote monitoring cuff, you can start monitoring your blood pressure as soon as you receive it — no setup required.
Digital weight scale
If you have heart failure, gaining even 2 pounds can indicate that your body is retaining fluids, which is extremely dangerous. A digital weight scale allows your provider to consistently monitor your weight, which makes it easier for them to prescribe a diuretic, change a prescription or schedule a visit.
Blood glucose monitor
A blood glucose monitor is crucial for patients with diabetes so providers can gauge levels and take action. With a remote blood glucose monitor, data automatically streams to a provider with no user intervention.