While electrocardiograms are often the first test ordered to diagnose heart disease, they’re not as accurate as many think. Ennovea Medical is cutting down on electrode placement errors with a single-use patch for uniform placement, which was shown in a study to cut down on inaccuracies and save time.
An ECG involves sticking a number of electrodes to skin of the patient’s chest, arms and legs. Of the 40 million ECGs conducted in the U.S. each year, electrode misplacement happens in 40 to 60% of them, Ennovea said in a statement. Research has shown that the misplacement of a single electrode is a main cause of errors in ECGs using 12 leads, Ennovea said. Incorrectly placed electrodes may lead to misdiagnoses, which can lead to patients receiving inappropriate therapy and needing further ECGs for correct diagnosis.
The CardioQuick Patch is a single-use, disposable overlay system incorporating 6 preplaced electrodes. Each electrode has an adjustable positioning guide to customize electrode placement for patients of varying shapes and sizes. The device ensures the accurate placement of the electrodes as well as the ability to reproduce the correct placement for each individual patient.
In the study, 20 patients underwent 60 ECG recordings. Although the study did not identify the reasons for “such widespread errors” in electrode placement, it did find the patch to improve accuracy and reproducibility of electrode placement with “little cognitive effort,” according to the statement. This reduces the time it takes to conduct an ECG, so patients receive the appropriate treatment sooner. The research is published in The Journal of Electrocardiology.
“Any misdiagnosis from an erroneous ECG acquisition prevents timely medical intervention for the patient which, in worst case scenarios, increases the likelihood of morbidity and mortality,” said Robert Deans, director of Ennovea Medical, in the statement.
“We’re hoping that this study and its accompanying data will finally prove to hospitals around the world that the CardioQuick Patch is the solution they’ve been looking for to solve this age-old clinical issue,” he said.
Other companies working in the ECG space include AliveCor, which markets a device that attaches to a mobile device so patients may record an ECG at any time. The patient rests his or her fingers on the device's electrodes and may make verbal recordings of any other symptoms. A mobile app then analyzes the ECG, telling the patient if it is normal or if the patient is experiencing atrial fibrillation. Patients may then share the ECG recording with their physician.