Computerised analysis, interpretation, storage and retrieval of electrocardiograms : a study and review of available systems
The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za
A study was undertaken to determine the feasibility of introducing a computerised electrocardiographic analysis and interpretive system as a service to a teaching and referral hospital. Available computer equipment and programmes are considered. The accuracy and quality of the analysis and interpretation of the electrocardiographic contours are basically dependent on such factors as pattern recognition, the criteria adopted for determining abnormalities, the relative values placed on scalar and orthogonal leads and the role of review by the physician. It is concluded that such systems are at a stage where they can feasibly be introduced and should be of advantage in freeing the physician from routine measuring and screening of electrocardiograms, thus saving many hours of professional and academic time. Furthermore, such systems can contribute greatly as an educational tool and increase the general knowledge of electrocardiography. Systems for storage and retrieval are also being developed and becoming available. The whole field is a developing one and continuous updating of programmes by the addition of more data, particularly for children, and the introduction of electrocardiographic comparison programmes need to be expedited.