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Research Article

Centralised interpretation of electrocardiograms.

Br Med J 1977; 1 doi: (Published 05 February 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;1:345
  1. P W Macfarlane,
  2. M P Watts,
  3. T D Lawrie,
  4. R S Walker


    A system was devised so that a peripheral hospital could transmit electrocardiograms (ECGs) to a central computer for interpretation. The link that transmits both ECGs and reports is provided by the telephone network. Initial results showed that telephone transmission did not significantly affect the accuracy of the ECG interpretation. The centralised computer programme could be much more widely used to provide ECG interpretations. A telephone link would not be justified in health centres, where the demand for ECGs is fairly small, but ECGs recorded at a health centre can be sent to the computer for interpretation and returned the next day. The most cost-effective method of providing computer interpretation for several health centres in a large city would be to have a portable electrocardiograph and transmission facilities, which could be moved from centre to centre.