Ludwig van Beethoven, to this day, remains one of the most influential and famous composers of all time. His work resonates into our own modern culture and many enjoy listening to his music as the masses did when he first composed them. Even as his hearing deteriorated in the later years of his career, Beethoven was still able to compose some of his most admired work. Recently, some who have studied his compositions, believe if Beethoven was able to wear a cardiac monitoring device, it would prove that he did suffer from heart arrhythmia.
The abnormal heart rhythm some experts think Beethoven suffered from could have acted as inspiration for some of the music he composed, and the clues, they say, can be found in the music. There are no confirmed medical records of Beethoven having a heart condition, because medicine lacked the technology we have today, but that hasn’t stopped curious scientists from examining his work to see what is hidden in the notes. Zachary Goldberger, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Washington, is one such scientist that decided to delve into the music to hear what it had to say.
Goldberger examined some of Beethoven’s pieces that he believed was affected by a possible arrhythmia: Piano Sonata in E-Flat major composed in 1810, Piano Sonata in A-Flat major composed in 1821, and Cavatina of the String Quartet in B-Flat major in 1825. Goldberger found that each of these works had evidence of musical notes suddenly changing the rhythm of the piece just like an arrhythmia suddenly changes the rhythm of the heart. For example, during the final movement of Cavatina, an emotionally charged piece, the key suddenly changes to a C-Flat major. This sudden change throws off the rhythm and evokes dark emotion including what can be described as a shortness of breath to the listener, a common symptom of heart arrhythmia.
To learn more about the technology available to us today, that Beethoven didn’t have, browse the Medicomp, Inc. blog to learn more about heart arrhythmia and cardiac monitoring.
Smart phones are powerful electronic devices that have become an iconic part of American culture. It is hard to find many people without one, which is why companies and entrepreneurs alike are jumping into the mobile app market. They have found innovative ways to turn smartphones into an all-in-one electronic device and that includes creating apps for cardiac event monitoring and medical purposes. One of the apps they have developed is a heart rate monitor.
How Exactly Does the App Work? The heart rate monitors in question are set apart from the ones that simply ask you to count how many heartbeats you can detect per minute. Using the flash and camera features on the smartphone, the app can actually read your heartbeat. Every time your heart beats, it sends a pulse of blood throughout the body. This pulse causes the capillaries in your skin to expand and cause the color of the skin to change slightly. When the flash illuminates the skin the camera it is able to detect these changes, and the app takes the information in the series of images to determine the user’s heart rate.
What is the Advantage of This? Being able to know your heart rate at any time has several advantages. Knowing your heart rate can alert you to potential heart problems if it is beating faster or slower at a time that does not call for it. Athletes can also use their heart rate to determine if they are at their peak pace to maximize the benefit of their workouts.
What’s Next? This is just the beginning. Currently this method of heart monitoring is inconvenient compared to heart rate monitoring specific devices because it requires you to sit still for a moment to let the camera take the photos. You cannot monitor the activity of your heart while you are performing specific activities to see how it works under stress.
However, new heart monitors prescribed by doctors can connect to their own smartphones through a special app so doctors can monitor their patients’ activities while they wear the cardiac event monitor. To learn more about these monitors and the future of heart monitors, browse the Medicomp Inc. blog today.
The more we understand about how the heart works, the better cardiac monitoring devices become. A new mathematical model helps researchers better understand atrial fibrillation, which is a misfiring in the electrical impulses of the heart that throw off the natural rhythm of the heart. The chambers of the heart lose their ability to smoothly transfer blood into and out of the heart.
For most people these episodes can happen without notice or any reason to worry. However, in aging individuals and for individuals with particular health risks like obesity and high blood pressure, atrial fibrillations can have serious consequences. Atrial fibrillation is the leading cause of strokes. This is why electrophysiologists, people who study the electrical rhythm of the heart, are always trying to learn more about what causes atrial fibrillation and how to treat it.
A new mathematical model of cardiac muscle tissue could bring new understanding about atrial fibrillation. Scientists created this model to help pinpoint specific regions of the heart that cause fibrillations by revealing disturbances in the impulses on a cellular level. When cells in the heart receive the electrical impulse, they react by contracting. The natural rhythm of the heart creates a smooth wave of contractions in the model as the impulse excites the cells down the line. If a cell fails to contract, it can create a wave in the opposite direction. When enough cells are doing this because of a weakened connection in the line, the wave will become more like a series of chaotic ripples.
Researchers and physicians hope to use this information to make it easier to find the problematic parts in the heart and destroy them. Once the irregular cells are destroyed, normal heart rhythm would resume and the patient’s risk for heart problems such as stroke goes down. Unfortunately this will not be as easy on patients who have had the condition for a long period of time, but this new understanding is a step in the right direction for the future of cardiac monitoring.
To learn more about atrial fibrillation and its effects on the heart, browse the visit the Medicomp, Inc. blog today.
Medicomp’s commitment to advancing the science of patient monitoring means staying abreast of all things heart related and sleep is absolutely connected to your heart’s health. Heartbeats are controlled by electrical impulses that cause the muscles of the heart to contract. These impulses work to create a rhythm that pumps blood throughout the body. When the rhythm beats at a normal pace, the heart can effectively distribute oxygenated blood throughout the body.
Atrial fibrillation is when the electrical impulses coming from the top left chamber of the heart go haywire. The result is a lack of coordination in the muscles of the heart and a deprivation of blood being delivered throughout the body. These can be felt as a fluttering feeling but often occur without notice.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a risk factor for the development of atrial fibrillation. It is defined by pauses in breathing during sleep that typically last between 20 and 40 seconds. These pauses are caused by obstructions in the airway usually by the relaxing of the soft tissue in the throat to collapse. When the brain becomes deprived of oxygen during these pauses, it sends the signal to release adrenaline through the body. The increased blood pressure and heart rate will attempt to properly distribute oxygen through the body.
The long term affects of obstructive sleep apnea is that the increase of blood pressure and heart rate during these adrenaline rushes will wear down the vessels and muscles of the heart. In addition to the physical damage, the brain loses the true rest it needs while sleeping and can lead to fatigue and disruptions in fat metabolism, increasing the amount of stress on the heart. The accumulating damage will weaken the heart to become susceptible to atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation is a major risk factor for stroke. Thankfully, once it is diagnosed, atrial fibrillation and the resulting risk factors can be mediated by healthy lifestyle choices and medications prescribed by a physician.
To learn more about atrial fibrillation, browse the Medicomp, Inc. blog today.
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.
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
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.
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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.