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Choosing a Heart Monitor

There are a number of factors that come into play when selecting which heart monitor is best for you, if one is needed. The choice mostly comes down to how often you have symptoms if you do.

For example, if you feel your heart start to race, flip flop or skip beats nearly every day, wearing a Holter monitor for 2-3 days is the way to go.

If, however, your symptoms only happen every once in a while (let’s say weekly or monthly), wearing a Holter monitor for just a few days could miss a heart rhythm issue, if there is one. In this case, wearing an event monitor or a patch recorder for a longer period of time is the better choice.

Longer monitoring may also be the best option for people who don’t have symptoms, but an arrhythmia is suspected.

Other things to think about and talk with your care team about:

  • Whether you need real-time monitoring where the data is collected and sent to a central place where someone looks at it and sends a report to your care team. Other devices record your heart’s activity, but the information is reviewed after you send the monitor back. If you have a loop monitor inserted, it will monitor your heart around-the-clock without you needing to do anything.
  • How involved you’d like to be in the process. Some devices record the heart’s activity on an ongoing basis without you doing anything. Others rely on you pressing a button or doing something to start a recording.
  • If you use your smartphone or smartwatch to track any heart measures and how this information should be used. These should be seen as add-on tools, and not a replacement for standard, medical testing. Care needs to be taken in interpreting the information you get. It’s also important not to become overly concerned or obsessed with checking, which can cause added anxiety for some.
  • Any downsides if you decide not to monitor right now.

Remember that a heart monitor can detect and help diagnose an arrhythmia, but it doesn’t treat or correct a heart rhythm problem.

  • Last Edited 12/20/2021