Philips unveils ECG system

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NEW ORLEANS—Philips Healthcare introduced PageWriter TC70, its new cardiograph with DXL 16-lead ECG algorithm, that may help clinicians deliver faster diagnosis and treatment during heart attacks, while also supporting door-to-balloon and hospital quality initiatives, at the 2008 American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions this week.

The new system also expands gender-based criteria for women, who may present symptoms differently.

  • “The PageWriter TC70 is designed to deliver on three things for our users: make it easy to use so that it’s intuitive and reduces training time; make it efficient for the hospital to build into their workflow; and deliver clinical excellence,” said Kevin Geary, product manager of diagnostic ECG.
  • The ease of use involves a simple one, two, three approach to capturing the ECG. Turn on the device; hit the lit button, which prompts for patient data that can be filled in or selected from the HIS; and then take the ECG. The ECG previews on the screen and then can be printed. It is automatically transferred to TraceMaster Vue, Philips’ ECG management system. Previous ECGs also can be retrieved for comparison, enabling better bedside patient care, according to Geary.
  • The standard 12-lead ECG has a blind spot on the right side of the patient’s chest that limits the ability to detect right ventricular MI. Philips’ new DXL 16 lead Algorithm technology addresses this issue by using electrodes placed on the right side—anterior and posterior—to provide incremental capabilities not available with previous analysis programs, Geary said.
  • The PageWriter TC70 has a feature called Critical Values, consisting of four tags: acute ischemia, acute MI, high heart rate and heart block. These potential conditions are highlighted on the ECG to enable prompt attention by clinical staff.
  • To enhance door-to-balloon efficiency, the system plots ST elevation with polar coordinate maps. ST elevation past the first circle is a good indication the patient is having a heart attack. “This feature can help eliminate the number of false positives,” Geary noted. The system also examines the lead distribution of ST elevation to determine the culprit artery that is most likely to harbor an obstruction.
  • Women often present cardiac symptoms differently from men and have a higher mortality rate from cardiovascular disease. The DXL Algorithm applies new gender, age and lead-specific STEMI (ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction) criteria to detect acute MI in women as well as men. 
  • A widespread pattern of ST depression often reflects global ischemia due to left main coronary obstruction, multi-vessel obstructions, or microvascular disease, which is more prevalent in women. The DXL Algorithm incorporates new criteria for these conditions and provides a Critical Value of “Global Ischemia” to highlight that prompt intervention may be needed, Geary said.