In western countries, heart disease is the main cause of premature death. Most of cardiac deaths occur out of hospital. Because of a continuously growing elderly population, the number of heart attacks is steadily increasing. Symptoms are often interpreted incorrectly. Victims do not survive long enough to benefit from inhospital treatments. To reduce the time before treatment, the only useful diagnostic tool to assess the presence of a cardiac event is the electrocardiogram (ECG). Event and transtelephonic ECG recorders are used to improve decision-making but require setting up new infrastructures. The pervasive solution proposed by the European EPI-MEDICS project is an intelligent Personal ECG Monitor for the early detection of cardiac events. It includes part of the patient electronic health record (EHR), embeds a web server and decision-making techniques, generates different alarm levels and forwards alarm messages to the relevant care providers by means of new generation wireless communication. It is cost saving, involving care providers only if necessary, without requiring to set-up specific infrastructures. Healthcare becomes personalized, wearable and ubiquitous.
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