Preventing strokes: A small device revolutionizes cardiovascular prevention
A small device is the big star at the Bonn Heart Days 2022: The Hamburg-based medical start-up dpv-analytics GmbH will present the “ritmo”, a long-term ECG in miniature format, at the cardiologists’ congress in the World Conference Center. The device – which measures just 45 by 45 millimeters – will revolutionize cardiovascular screening: “With the ‘ritmo’, we can diagnose atrial fibrillation faster than before and with absolute reliability, and in this way help to prevent strokes,” says Hamburg-based cardiologist Dr. med.
Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common cardiac arrhythmias and can lead to heart attack and stroke – the number one cause of death in Germany. A reliable diagnosis of atrial fibrillation is only possible by means of an electrocardiogram (ECG).
But anyone who has ever had a long-term ECG done knows how difficult and complicated it often is: First you have to wait until a device becomes available. Then you have to be wired up in a cumbersome way, wear the device for 24 hours, and often sleep badly with it… “That is no longer up to date,” says Dr. Ekkehard Schmidt. “We must finally use and utilize digitalization in a contemporary way in diagnostics as well.”
Together with colleagues, the renowned cardiologist developed “ritmo” and will now present it at the Bonn Heart Days. Despite its miniature format, the innovative long-term ECG is a full-fledged 3-channel ECG. “It does not need any cables, is simply stuck to the chest with an electrode patch and removed again at the end of the measurement,” says Dr. Schmidt.
The “ritmo” is made available to medical practices and clinics on a loan basis, but it can also – since it is completely uncomplicated to use – be ordered directly by patients. The comprehensive “ritmo” service includes evaluation of the stored data using specially developed software after a measurement of up to 72 hours. The results are also checked by a cardiologist. Dr. Schmidt: “In this way, a medically validated result is available within a very short time.”
Both the device and the analysis software are certified and approved as fully-fledged medical products throughout the EU. “With the ‘ritmo’, every family doctor’s practice can significantly expand its competence and, in effect, gain an additional cardiological colleague,” says Dr. Ekkehard Schmidt. The rapidly increasing number of patients with cardiovascular alarms can be quickly and reliably examined by a physician, he adds. If a medical emergency is detected, therapy can begin in the shortest possible time – without referrals to specialists, full waiting rooms and sometimes months of waiting time.
The “ritmo” has already received a great deal of recognition and acclaim among experts. For example, the device was awarded the “German Medical Award”: Every year, the coveted medical “Oscar” crowns outstanding achievements that enable better patient care.