Toward personal eHealth in cardiology. Results from the EPI-MEDICS telemedicine project

J Electrocardiol. 2005 Oct;38(4 Suppl):100-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2005.06.011.


Despite many attempts to improve the management of acute myocardial infarction, only small trends to shorter time intervals before treatment have been reported. The self-care solution developed by the European EPI-MEDICS project (2001-2004) is a novel, very affordable, easy-to-use, portable, and intelligent Personal ECG Monitor (PEM) for the early detection of cardiac ischemia and arrhythmia that is able to record a professional-quality, 3-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) based on leads I, II, and V2; derive the missing leads of the standard 12-lead ECG (thanks to either a generic or a patient-specific transform), compare each ECG with a reference ECG by means of advanced neural network-based decision-making methods taking into account the serial ECG measurements and the patient risk factors and clinical data; and generate different levels of alarms and forward the alarm messages with the recorded ECGs and the patient's Personal electronic Health Record (PHR) to the relevant health care providers by means of a standard Bluetooth-enabled, GSM/GPRS-compatible mobile phone. The ECG records are SCP-ECG encoded and stored with the PHR on a secure personal SD Card embedded in the PEM device. The alarm messages and the PHR are XML encoded. Major alarm messages are automatically transmitted to the nearest emergency call center. Medium or minor alarms are sent on demand to a central PEM Alarm Web Server. Health professionals are informed by a Short Message Service. The PEM embeds itself a Web server to facilitate the reviewing and/or update of the PHR during a routine visit at the office of the general physician or cardiologist. Eighty PEM prototypes have been finalized and tested for several weeks on 697 citizens/patients in different clinical and self-care situations involving end users (188 patients), general physicians (10), and cardiologists (9). The clinical evaluation indicates that the EPI-MEDICS concept may save lives and is very valuable for prehospitalization triage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allied Health Personnel
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cardiology*
  • Computer Communication Networks
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory*
  • Humans
  • Medical Informatics Applications
  • Self Care
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Telemedicine*