12.6.2020 | Author: Isaac Adaam, Sales Manager, Bittium
The name Faros is an inspiration from the Lighthouse (Pharos) of Alexandria built by the Ptolemaic Kingdom. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, for many centuries it was one of the tallest man-made structures in the world. The name "Faros" was coined just as the original Pharos to denote a lighthouse that gives direction to ships. Bittium Faros™ sailing themed nomenclature connotes a similar mindset; albeit applicable in the field of cardiac arrhythmia diagnostics. A reason why the Bittium Cardiac solutions adopt names like Faros (ECG device), Cardiac Navigator™ (Holter software) and Cardiac Explorer™ (Event monitoring software). The connecting story is that the Bittium Faros series serves as a "cardiac lighthouse" directing cardiologists to the right diagnosis. This has been a driving force among users of the Bittium Faros series of cardiac devices and solutions.
Citadel of Qaitbay; erected on the exact site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria
The on-set of COVID-19 brought untold challenges. A need to practice social distancing and remote working required that healthcare professionals needed to rethink how they executed their tasks. For those in cardiac diagnostics sector where applying ECG devices in most cases required personal contact, a lot of these planned diagnoses had to be postponed. Our partner in the UK, Technomed Limited (operating as ECG On-demand) for example, explains that “Pre-COVID-19, waiting times for Holter monitoring of several months were not uncommon and in some UK regions, they extended to over a year. Post-COVID-19, the situation has deteriorated dramatically with the majority of cardiology hospital outpatient appointments cancelled or postponed due to the transfer of cardiac physiology staff to intensive care".
Bittium Faros mounting options
Thanks to the ingenuity of our customers and the unique features and user-friendliness of Bittium Faros, cardiac service providers have started mailing deliveries for Holter ECG services. This new COVID-19 induced solution means that patients requiring ECG diagnosis are allowed to do so without compromising the social distancing rules and equally minimizing exposure to the virus. Sanitised Bittium Faros devices are sent via a mail-order system with clear and simple instructions; in some cases, support can be provided via telephone or video calls. At the end of the recording, the device is collected for data retrieval and analysis. Subsequently, the final report is delivered electronically. Apart from those in the clinical sector, some cardiac research institutions are also using a similar approach to continue their cardiac research efforts during the pandemic period.
There are already examples of this use case in Europe, Africa and the US; expectedly, this service should extend to other parts of the globe as we continue to battle and win the collective fight against COVID-19. Technomed believes that now is not the time to halt Holters and which is why they mobilized their service offering to include Holter monitors by courier to keep patient visits to the hospital or surgery to a minimum. Our partner in South Africa, Vertice Diagnostics, are of a similar opinion and have also commenced "a Holter by mail" service. Pilot studies will soon commence exploring the possibility of integrating the Bittium HolterPlus™ remote monitoring solution for a seamless and automatic transfer via a mobile device of recorded ECG data, patient symptoms, medications, sleep ratings and activity levels during an ECG assessment.
The future regarding COVID-19 remains unclear for now, but there are strong suggestions that remote monitoring and the impact of social distancing will persist for some time. In any case, we should all aspire to contribute in the small way we can; Bittium Faros has echoed its name, as a "cardiac lighthouse" through a mail delivery service during these tough times. But more importantly, special thanks goes to all the frontline workers and healthcare professional for their immense contributions. To our partners and research institutions, thank you for the courage and foresight.
Bittium Faros™ brings the latest 4-in-1 ECG technology to the market in a lightweight, waterproof and smoothly designed form with superior signal quality. The waterproof Bittium Faros™ 180 (1-channel) and Bittium Faros™ 360 (3-channel) ECG devices together with Bittium FastFix™ patch electrodes make the patient´s life easier during both short and long-term ECG recordings.
Bittium HolterPlus™ is a web-based remote cardiac monitoring solution for private cardiologists, cardiac service providers, hospitals and clinics. Bittium HolterPlus™ bridges the gap between a Holter and implantable monitoring device by providing the possibility of extending the duration of a cardiac monitoring session.
ECG On-Demand® is a 12-lead ECG Interpretation and Holter monitor analysis service run by Technomed Limited. Our proprietary traffic light ECG risk rating system has been constantly refined since its launch in 2010.
Vertice Diagnostics started with a 5-day ECG monitoring service, setting a new standard in long term ECG assessments. Our interpretation center, with our highly skilled clinical technologists, based in Gauteng using latest AI technology to get ECG reports back to the specialist in under 2hrs.