Momentum telemedicine service descriptions

Telecardiology (GR)

Objectives, expected outcomes, main beneficiaries

The full title of the service is Telecardiology Service of CardioExpress SA. Its purpose is to provide a telecardiology diagnostic services for emergency cardiology patients on a 24/7 basis.

The main beneficiaries of the service are patients, healthcare professionals, the healthcare provider organisation, health authority and society (public health, Ministry of Health or Social Affairs, Healthcare Board, etc.).

Targeted population, number of patients

The target population consists of citizens in general, people with chronic conditions (e.g. who receive long-term monitoring or coaching), and acute/emergency intervention.

From 100 to 1,000 people receive the service each month..

Type of telemedicine service

This service can be categorised as a diagnostics service. The relationship between key actors in the service is that between a patient with a potential cardiac emergency and a cardiologist.

Set-up that was being replaced

Patients with cardiac problems require immediate medical intervention. The main delay between the onset of symptoms and hospital treatment often occurs at home before people decide to seek medical assistance. In many cases, additional delays in the hospital lead to a total delay in treatment of more than three hours.

Telemedicine combats the inherent hesitation that prevails when someone is faced with the prospect of medical intervention. The latest statistics show that Telecardiology subscribers have achieved receiving a diagnosis without leaving home within 15 minutes from the start of experiencing their symptoms.

Outcomes and results expected after introduction

The prospect of receiving an immediate diagnosis (from your home, using special equipment which transmits by phone) helps lower the patient’s hesitation to seek medical assistance.

The service has helped to reduce time between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis and treatment.  It can reduce morbidity and mortality rates following cardiac incidents.

The services are provided to institutions and rural medical practices spread over various mountainous areas of regional Greece and the Greek islands.

Detailed description

The Telecardiology control centre is equipped with the latest equipment and electronic devices as well as a team of trained cardiologists who answer phone calls of the subscribers. All evaluations and treatment options given by the Telecardiology cardiologists to the patients depend on a tele-electrocardiogram and the description of the clinical picture provided by patient.

If a cardiologist on duty confirms that patients do not have a heart problem, s/he assures the subscribers that their problem is not related to a heart condition and provides additional medical advice as appropriate.

In the case of a positive diagnosis of a heart attack or other cardiological problem, a cardiologist will recommend the appropriate medical treatment – including medication – or will organise the safe transportation of the patient to a hospital.

Telecardiology informs the local medical units through a simultaneous transmission of the ECG and provides the diagnosis. This prepares the hospital that will be treating the patient and reduces delays.

Operational status

The service is operational, and is part of mainstream healthcare service.