It’s important to us to make our care convenient for your family. That’s why we continually innovate to find creative solutions, such as our home heart tools that help us monitor heart rhythms, examine the flow of blood in the heart, and evaluate or diagnose heart problems for your child from the comfort of your home.
We make the following telemonitoring cardiac diagnostic devices accessible to you:
The Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center is one of the first comprehensive pediatric heart centers in the nation to offer EKGs within the comfort and safety of your home in combination with telehealth consultations. EKGs are detailed electrical tracings of the heart, and up until now they have required specialized equipment and technical expertise to perform, meaning that an EKG could be performed only in medical centers. We now offer three options for at-home EKGs, including tele EKG and two types of wearable mobile telemetry monitors called Zio patches.
We’re pleased to offer this new innovation as a fantastic addition to our capabilities in assessing heart rhythms at home. We have recently partnered with a novel medical device company to give families access to a hand-held portable EKG device (also called an ECG device) that allows you to record your child’s electrical heart signals without leaving your home. The readings are of similar quality to what’s achieved by a 12-lead EKG test in the clinic, and without the need for messy lead wires.
When recommended by your cardiologist at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, this compact EKG device and appropriate-sized chest sticker can be sent directly to your home and returned when you’re finished. The tele EKG provides a detailed snapshot of the heart, looking at the heart rhythm from multiple directions (12 leads) for about 10 seconds. The device connects with your phone via Bluetooth, and results are sent instantly from an app on your phone to Packard Children’s Hospital. They automatically become a part of your child’s medical record, and our pediatric cardiology electrophysiologists (specialists in heart rhythms) formally evaluate your child’s EKG from their expert point of view to determine if your child’s heart rhythms are within normal ranges.
Since our doctors can view results nearly instantly on their smartphone or tablet from any location, they are able to promptly follow up when an abnormality is found to set up a telehealth visit to discuss next steps. Tele EKG has many benefits to parents, with the biggest being convenience and peace of mind.
This convenient mobile cardiac outpatient recording device, in the form of a leadless patch, gathers data via Bluetooth and sends real-time data automatically, 24 hours a day, with no need to mail it in at the end of the study period. Patients have the option to record symptoms as they feel them. Patients can shower but not swim with this patch.
An ECG recording done over a period of 24 or more hours. Three electrodes are attached to the child’s chest and connected to a small, portable ECG recorder by lead wires, which is then returned to your child’s doctor, where data is uploaded and reviewed.
Zio patches have revolutionized the way doctors detect and diagnose arrhythmias, or irregular heart rhythms. In certain circumstances, Zio patches can replace the Holter monitor. While Zio patches cannot supply 12-lead quality readings as the tele EKG, they have other advantages. For example, while the tele EKG provides a snapshot of your child’s heart rhythms, Zio patches provide continuous monitoring over time. Zio patches also are easier to use and do not require in-office training.
Our parental echocardiogram (also called a tele parental echo) empowers you to perform an echocardiogram on your child from home, under the real-time virtual supervision of a trained Stanford Medicine Children’s Health sonographer. Our sonographer ensures that the images are of high quality for diagnostics and best results. To start, you receive a one-hour training on-site at Packard Children’s Hospital on how to use the hands-on device. You learn how to position two probes on your child’s chest and initiate the scan, which tells us how well blood is moving through the heart. The device we’re lending you instantly uploads ultrasound images, which are read by our sonographers, who are live and standing by. Pediatric cardiologists from our Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center can review your child’s heart images and initiate a follow-up telehealth visit with you, when necessary. You are then ready to perform subsequent echocardiograms at home for as long as your doctor recommends.
These at-home heart diagnostic tools are especially useful when caring for children with chronic heart conditions. They allow for ongoing monitoring of congenital heart defects, like single ventricle conditions. They provide a convenient way to follow up after heart transplant or another heart surgery. After complex heart surgeries, children can be vulnerable to injury from travel or feel too ill to travel. When you are empowered to monitor your child’s recovery and condition from your home, your child remains safe and comfortable. Paired with telehealth visits when needed, the devices enable excellent and most convenient heart care for your busy family.
In addition to monitoring existing cardiac conditions, our doctors use these tools to evaluate and diagnose some of the most common cardiac conditions in children.
At your next visit, ask your child’s cardiologist at Packard Children’s Hospital about whether or not lending you an at-home heart diagnostic device is an option for your child’s condition. If your child is not a patient of ours, contact our Heart Center team to learn more about our outstanding heart care.