Posted by: ontarget in Cardiac Monitoring News,Heart Health Tips on February 25th, 2015

February is American Heart Month, a time to focus on raising awareness about heart disease. Despite advances in medicine, heart disease is still the number one killer of men and women in America. Doctors say that prevention is the best solution to combating heart disease. In honor of American Heart Month, Medicomp has compiled important information that will help you keep your heart at its healthiest.

Lifestyle Changes

The risk of suffering heart disease can be significantly reduced by making some simple lifestyle changes. Adding activities to or subtracting activities from your daily schedule can be all that is needed to maintain a healthy heart. These changes include:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Reducing cholesterol and sodium intake
  • Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods
  • Stop smoking
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Avoid stress inducing situations

Preexisting Conditions

Some people have higher chances of suffering heart disease due to preexisting conditions, such as diabetes, so make sure you are staying in touch with your doctor to keep it under control because diabetes can cause significant heart damage if not cared for properly.

Family History

Genetics can also be a big factor for your risks for heart disease. Check your family’s medical history to see if heart disease is prevalent and talk to your doctor about steps you can take to reduce these factors.

Know the Signs of a Heart Attack

Recognizing the onset of a heart attack is important to receive the required medical treatment as soon as possible. Heart attacks can occur without the sufferer realizing it because it does not always appear to cause enough trouble to warrant a hospital visit, but the damage to the heart is still done. These are the major symptoms of a heart attack:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in the arms, jaw, back, upper body or upper stomach
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Cold sweats

Remember to seek medical help if you feel these symptoms and suspect a heart attack is occurring. To find out more about American Heart Month, browse the Medicomp Inc. blog.

Posted by: ontarget in arrhythmia monitoring,Cardiac Monitoring on February 20th, 2015

If you are experiencing fluctuations in the rhythm of your heart, you’re probably experiencing the presence of a heart arrhythmia. While harmless in most cases, a regular pattern of heart arrhythmia can suggest there’s a harmful, underlying heart problem. Depending on your symptoms and medical history, your doctor has a variety of tests at their disposal to diagnose your arrhythmia.

If there’s no clear underlying condition that’s causing your arrhythmia, then your doctor will likely conduct one of these tests specifically for diagnosing the condition. There’s also a chance you may need a arrhythmia monitoring device if the tests indicate you have arrhythmia.

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) – An ECG is designed to detect and record the electric impulses of your heart. To do this, doctors will attach electrodes to your chest and/or limbs. These sensors will then detect the timing and duration of each heartbeat, which the ECG records. ECGs are becoming less common in practice due to the inconvenience of an overnight stay at the hospital attached to the machine.
  • Holter monitor Essentially the same as an ECG but in a portable form. Doctors will give you the device with instructions on how to handle it and tell you to record your activities in a journal for the doctor to compare with the electrical signals later. This test usually last for no more than a few days.
  • Event monitors Similar to Holter monitors, event monitors are given to patients with sporadic arrhythmias. When you begin to feel symptoms coming on, you simply attach the electrodes and let the monitor record the event. This lets your doctor see the electrical signals at the time of the event.
  • Echocardiogram – Instead of picking up electrical impulses like the ECG, this handheld device uses sound waves to create images of your heart’s structure and motion.

All of these tests are extremely noninvasive and can easily diagnose a heart arrhythmia. To find out more about Holter monitors and arrhythmia monitoring, visitMedicomp Inc. today.

 

Posted by: ontarget in Cardiac Monitoring News,Heart Health Tips on February 18th, 2015

If you noticed that the color red was prevalent February 6th, it wasn’t because Valentine’s Day was near. The American Heart Association launched the Go Red for Women campaign in 2003 to help raise awareness and raise money to combat this issue. Now, on the first Friday of February, women wear red dresses as a symbol to the fight against heart disease in women. American Heart Month is all about raising awareness for heart disease because heart disease is the number one killer in America with one in three women who have died did so from heart attacks and strokes.

There has been tremendous progress and success since the first National Wear Red day. The movement has changed the lives of women across the country through education, research, and everyday lifestyle changes. Here are the statistics that the American Heart Association has reported as a result of the Go Red for Women campaign:

  • About 90% of women have made at least one healthy lifestyle change
  • More than one-third have lost weight
  • More than 50% have increased the amount of exercise they do
  • 6 out of 10 have changed their diets
  • More than 40% have checked their cholesterol levels
  • About one-third have talked to their doctors about heart health plans
  • Nearly 300 fewer women die of heart disease each day
  • Death in women has decreased by more than 30% over the last decade

While these statistics are encouraging, there is still more that can be done. Prevention has always been the best cure for heart disease, and about 80% of cardiac events can be prevented through healthy lifestyle changes. The Go Red for Women campaign has been and will continue to be an important player in the fight against heart disease in women.

Posted by: ontarget in Cardiac Monitoring,Cardiac Monitoring News on February 13th, 2015

The supply of cardiothoracic surgeons is on the decline. Considering heart disease is the number one killer of men in women in America, and two out of every three Americans over the age of 65 have some form of heart disease, then this is an unsettling thought. Many of these heart-disease patients also need cardiac monitoring devices.

Demand for cardiac surgeons is only going to rise as the Medicare-age population is increasing faster than the supply of cardiac surgeons that can be filled. To make matters worse, many of the fully-trained, practicing cardiac surgeons are expected to retire over the next decade.

Without an increase in the supply of cardiac surgeons for the future, there can be dire consequences. There are a couple of factors that have lead to the decline in cardiac surgeons: a lack of interest from residents in training for the field and the advancement of minimally invasive techniques.

Cardiothoracic surgery is an extremely demanding profession. Training alone in the current training system can take around eight years on top of completing medical school. Additionally, those who have successfully completed the program have reported difficulty finding jobs. Lastly, the workload often has new surgeons working 60-80 hours a week. Plus, Medicare reimbursement has been on the decline for years. As a result of all these factors, residents are moving away from cardiothoracic surgery and advising their fellow residents to do the same for their own future. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education is working on improving the training program to make it less daunting to go into cardiac surgery.

New techniques for minimally invasive surgeries are favorable for treating patients compared to the procedures used by cardiac surgeons. Doctors and their patients would rather receive these new treatments than seek help from cardiac surgeons, making it hard for cardiac surgeons to find work. Medicomp Inc. provides cardiac monitoring solutions for heart-disease patients.

Posted by: ontarget in Cardiac Monitoring News,Heart Health Tips on February 6th, 2015

When you think about the month of February, the first thing that probably comes to mind is Valentine’s Day. In addition to sharing your love with that special someone in your life, February is American Heart month, making it the perfect time to show your own heart some love as well.

Despite how important our hearts are, cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attacks and strokes, is the number one killer of men and women in America. Cardiovascular disease is also the leading cause of disability because of the long term and irreversible damage it causes the heart. While this is sobering information, there’s good news. Everyone can reduce their risks of suffering from cardiovascular disease by making small changes in their everyday lives. To help spread the word about heart health this month,Medicomp Inc.has tips you can follow to reduce your risks of cardiovascular disease and information about cardiac monitoringdevices.

  • Visit your physician regularly – Make sure you talk to your doctor about your heart health and get tested regularly. Your doctor can let you know if you need to be concerned with your blood pressure or cholesterol and let you know what you can do to fix the problem.
  • Eat a healthy diet – Make sure you have a healthy variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet. Avoid saturated fats and high levels of sodium to reduce the your cholesterol and blood-pressure levels.
  • Exercise regularly – The Surgeon General recommends about 150 minutes of physical activity per week for adults. Physical activity helps to strengthen your heart and eat away at fat that is built up in your body that would otherwise strain your heart.
  • Stop smoking – It’s been known for years that smoking is bad for your health. Smoking causes inflammation of the blood vessels that scars and weakens them over time. It also causes the vessels to become sticky and increase the likelihood of a clot forming and blocking blood flow. Seek help to stop as soon as possible.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to do all of these at once. Each of these changes, no matter how simple it may seem, takes time to truly become a new part of your life. Take it one step at a time, your heart will thank you with a long and healthy life. Medicomp Inc. also provides cardiac monitoring solutions for heart-disease patients.

Posted by: ontarget in Cardiac Monitoring News,Heart Health Tips on January 30th, 2015

Advances in technology and our understanding of heart health have helped people today live longer than ever before. For example, cardiac monitors came with an overnight stay in the hospital because the heart monitors couldn’t leave the facility. Nowadays, Holter monitors are pocket size and can be used to monitor a patient’s heart while they go about their daily activities. Not only is this more convenient for the patient to avoid an overnight stay, but it also helps their physician detect problems that might only appear during certain physical activities.

Despite medical advancements, heart disease is still the number one killer of men and women in America. Doctors say that an ounce of prevention goes a long way to help you live a long and healthy life. Maintaining a healthy heart is as simple as making a few lifestyle changes that reduce the amount of stress the heart endures. Here are some things you can do to maintain a healthy heart:

  • Well-balanced diet – Maintaining a balance of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is important to promote heart health. In addition to this, it is also important for you to avoid foods high in sodium and cholesterol because of the stress it places on the blood vessels.
  • Visit your doctor regularly – Regular visits to your doctor can help you detect problems early like high-cholesterol levels or high-blood pressure. This is especially important as you get older and your body requires you to take different steps to maintain proper health.
  • Be active – We hear it all the time because of how important it is to our health. Remaining physically active a few times a week is all that’s needed to reduce your risk for a heart attack and stroke. Running, yoga, and even walking are great examples of simple activities you can do to remain active.
  • Avoid cigarettes and alcohol – Cigarettes cause the lining of the heart and blood vessels to become sticky and inflamed, increasing the chances of a heart attack or stroke because of blood vessels becoming blocked. Alcohol is fine in responsible quantities but as you get older, the amount your body can comfortably handle decreases.

To learn more about cardiac monitoring technology and how to maintain a healthy heart, visit the Medicomp Inc. blog today. Continuously check back for the most up-to-date information about innovations in the cardiac-monitoring community.

 

Posted by: ontarget in Cardiac Monitoring News,Medicomp Updates on January 16th, 2015

Medicomp, Inc., announces the pending release of an external patch-style medical monitoring system. Medicomp’s new offering will initially provide flexible Holter, Event, and Mobile Cardiac Telemetry, in a single compact patient-friendly device.

The platform, combined with Medicomp’s clinical monitoring centers staffed 24/7/365, creates the opportunity to provide integrated multi-diagnostic parameters into a single patient picture.

“Medicomp is excited to introduce another new technology that further advances and expands mobile health (mhealth). We will continue to leverage our core competencies while working with new partners to integrate clinically relevant data for faster diagnosis, that will reduce healthcare costs, and provide a more complete patient picture,” said Tony Balda, President and CEO of Medicomp.

Performance testing has shown a drastically improved patient experience through flexible wear options, industry leading battery life, and customizable physician reporting options.

The device incorporates Medicomp’s patented Diogenes algorithm — the only ambulatory cardiac monitoring technology to offer Rate, Rhythm, Morphology, and P-wave analysis.

The product is scheduled for release in the third quarter of this year.

About Medicomp, Inc.

Founded in 1981, Medicomp is recognized as a technology leader in the telemedicine industry – pioneering leading edge products and services, and developing new applications that result in better clinical outcomes across multiple specialties. Medicomp’s clinical monitoring centers are staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year providing remote monitoring to patients throughout the world.  —  For more information, visit www.medicompinc.com.

Posted by: ontarget in Cardiac Monitoring,Cardiac Monitoring News on January 6th, 2015

According to Global Market Watch, the cardiac monitoring and diagnostic device market is expected to reach $406 million by 2016, supported by the segments of telemetry symptoms, ECG devices and Holter monitors. The healthcare industry has experienced a drastic change regarding new innovation and technology in the past three to five years. Cardiovascular industry growth continues to increase with the presence of a variety of technologies, such as advanced material and software featured in most of these devices.

The market itself is set to expand more than 25 percent in the U.S. by 2016, according to IHS Technology. Healthcare providers are expected to cut expenses by gathering data on patients outside of the expensive hospital environment. The U.S. has long been the world’s largest market for remote cardiac monitoring, with market revenue expected to rise to $867 million in 2016.

“Cardiovascular disease, or CVD, continues to be the world’s leading cause of death among men and women, and cardiac care is placing a major strain on healthcare providers,” according to Nicola Goatman, market analyst for IHS. “With limited physician resources to cover the ever-increasing number of cardiac patients, remote monitoring enables patients to be observed away from the hospital over longer periods of time, providing a much needed cost-saving initiative. Furthermore, remote detection’s early discovery of cardiac disease is vital for reducing costly acute care later down the line.”

In the domestic market, the use of telemetry devices has seen an increase in recent years, and with reimbursement only provided when devices are monitored 24/7, remote cardiac monitoring services is a lucrative and competitive market.

Medicomp Inc. has been providing advanced diagnostic cardiology since 1981. Medicomp develops, manufactures and provides service with the most reliable and sophisticated ambulatory heart-monitoring systems in the world. Since its inception, Medicomp has been at the forefront of the cardiac telemedicine industry – pioneering technology, improving existing technologies and adding new applications.

Posted by: ontarget in Cardiac Monitoring,Cardiac Monitoring News on December 17th, 2014

Each year over one million Americans suffer from a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when blood cannot adequately flow to the heart muscle, causing a starvation of oxygen. Also known as myocardial infarction (MI), each heart attack leaves long-term, permanent damage on the tissue of the heart.

If left untreated the suffocating tissue dies and leaves behind useless scarred tissue. These scars cannot be repaired once they appear, and without all the tissue that the heart normally has to function, the chances of another heart attack occurring significantly increases. However, thanks to the continued efforts of scientists and researchers we may soon be able to replace this scarred tissue. According to the online British journal: Scientific Reports, a team of Japanese scientists have used human-generated pluripotent stem cells to successfully create cardiac tissue sheets.

Kyoto University professor Jun Yamashita and his research team hope that this achievement will lead to new treatments in heart disease. Laboratory tests of the sheets have already shown promising results in lab mice. A three-layer sheet of cardiac tissue was transferred to nine mice with dead or damaged heart tissue caused by heart attacks. These sheets were made of differentiated iPS stems cells that would become cardiac muscle cells, vascular mural cells, and endothelial cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels. Four of the mice showed improved cardiac function because new blood vessels formed where the 1 cm diameter sheets were transplanted.

Yamashita is confident that there is real potential for this to heal the scarred tissue of those who have suffered from heart attacks. However, there is a concern for the development of cancer from the iPS stem cells. A small portion of the sheet was made up of unchanged cells, leading the team to believe that there is serious potential for cancer cells to form in their place in the long run. While more tests are required, the success of the sheets during recent tests gives the team hope for the future of the project.
To learn more about the newest innovations and discoveries occurring in the cardiac health community, or for tips to show your patients how to can keep their heart healthy and strong, check out the Medicomp Inc. blogs today.

Posted by: ontarget in Cardiac Monitoring on December 10th, 2014

The American Heart Association is urging physicians to better understand the risks of radiation exposure in cardiac monitoring procedures. Cardiac imaging is an important procedure for diagnosing life-threatening heart conditions; however, an inadequate understanding of the levels of radiation a patient is exposed to during each procedure may result in a debilitating condition in the long run. This is especially true for children who have younger tissue that can be affected. These children are at increased risk of developing conditions such as cancer due to the excess exposure to imaging-producing radiation. While some studies have indicated that the perceived risk is low or negligible, there are other findings that suggest complex procedures, filled with radiation, can increase risks for illness in the future.

Physicians should have a full understanding of the procedure, the radiation dose during each procedure, and the risks associated with the dose, especially for patients undergoing multiple procedures in a short period of time. The risks and benefits should also be discussed with the patient so they have an understanding of what to expect from the procedure.

Cardiac imaging procedures account for about 40% of the radiation exposure in medical-imaging procedures. That is why the American Heart Association stresses the importance of understanding the procedure and fully communicating the impact it can have on patients. Learning and practicing caution is a habit worth investing in when it comes to patient care. Minimizing extra complications from life-saving procedures is important to the overall well being of patients in the long run.

The American Heart Association is urging physicians to be fully transparent and to consider all variables before recommending a patient for imaging procedures that use radiation, in an effort to betterment the future of both young and old cardiac patients. Generally speaking, the risks associated with radiation exposure during imaging procedures are relatively low, and when the test is deemed necessary and appropriate by the leading physician, the benefits of the test significantly supersede the risks. However, each case varies and physicians should use their best judgement when looking into the appropriate procedure for each patient. To learn more about some of the latest news in cardiac monitoring and research, browse through the Medicomp Inc. blog page.

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