ACC/HRS/EHRA/APHRS/LAHRS/AHA Release Guidance Document on Telehealth and Arrhythmia Monitoring During COVID-19

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A guidance document from ACC, American Heart Association (AHA), Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS), European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA), Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) and Latin American Heart Rhythm Society (LAHRS) that outlines recommendations on the use of telehealth for monitoring arrhythmias during and after the COVID-19 pandemic was published June 11 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Niraj Varma, MA, MD, PhD, FACC, et al., address the challenges that electrophysiologists are facing due to the current pandemic and explore how telehealth may advance electrophysiology practice for patients with arrhythmia, whether hospitalized for COVID-19 or not.

Electrophysiologists may have to provide care for "[hospitalized] COVID-19-positive patients [who] may have preexisting arrhythmias, develop new arrhythmias, or be placed at increased risk from therapies for COVID-19," they write, while also continuing care for COVID-19-negative patients with arrhythmias.

Recommendations on inpatient and outpatient monitoring strategies suggest "[focusing] on selecting high-risk patients in need of close surveillance and using alternative remote recording devices to preserve personal protective equipment and protect health care workers from potential contagious harm."

The document also includes recommendations on therapies for COVID-19 and the potential electrical effects; electrocardiographic monitoring during clinical trials; and the use of remote patient monitoring post pandemic.

"The COVID-19 public health emergency has forced changes to traditional norms of health care access and delivery across all continents. It has accelerated adoption of telemedicine and all aspects of digital health, regarded as a positive development," write the authors of the document.

"Today's new reality will likely define medicine going forward. Many monitoring and diagnostic testing aspects of both inpatient and outpatient care will be increasingly served by digital medicine tools."

Clinical Topics: Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, COVID-19 Hub, Implantable Devices, SCD/Ventricular Arrhythmias, Atrial Fibrillation/Supraventricular Arrhythmias

Keywords: COVID-19, Pandemics, Personal Protective Equipment, Public Health, Inpatients, Latin America, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, Arrhythmias, Cardiac, Telemedicine, Health Services Accessibility, Ambulatory Care, Monitoring, Ambulatory, Health Personnel, Coronavirus, Coronavirus Infections

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