From the Journals

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Defining moment for remote arrhythmia monitoring

In a separate report, an international team of heart rhythm specialists from the Latin American Heart Rhythm Society, the HRS, the European Heart Rhythm Association, the Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society, the AHA, and the ACC discussed how the pandemic has fueled adoption of telehealth and remote patient management across medicine, including heart rhythm monitoring.

Their report was simultaneously published in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, EP Europace, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the Journal of Arrhythmia, and Heart Rhythm.

The COVID-19 pandemic has “catalyzed the use of wearables and digital medical tools,” and this will likely define medicine going forward, first author Niraj Varma, MD, PhD, of the Cleveland Clinic, said in an interview.

He noted that the technology has been available for some time, but the pandemic has forced people to use it. “Necessity is the mother of invention, and this has become necessary during the pandemic when we can’t see our patients,” said Dr. Varma.

He also noted that hospitals and physicians are now realizing that telehealth and remote arrhythmia monitoring “actually work, and regulatory agencies have moved very swiftly to dissolve traditional barriers and will now reimburse for it. So it’s a win-win.”

Dr. Varma and colleagues said that the time is right to “embed and grow remote services in everyday medical practice worldwide.” In their report, they offered a list of commonly used platforms for telehealth and examples of remote electrocardiogram and heart rate monitoring devices.

Development of the three reports had no commercial funding. Complete lists of disclosures for the writing groups are available in the original articles.

A version of this article originally appeared on Medscape.com.

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