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E. Keeping A Better Eye On Heart Patients

Narrator: This is Science Today. Continuous monitoring of a heart attack patient with a 12 view electrocardiogram, or EKG, improves the patient's outcome more than an EKG with only a few views of the heart. Barbara Drew, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco says hospitals don't routinely use the 12 view EKG because it's impractical.

Drew: The problem is that it interferes with emergency measures, it gets into the way of other tests that are done and whenever a patient brushes their teeth or moves their extremities, there's a lot of interference with what you're wanting to monitor.

Narrator: Drew helped develop a converter, which attaches to the one view EKG, and mathematically derives a way to generate 12 views of the heart, without all the wires and electrodes.

Drew: When we've compared that to the routine way of monitoring a patient with just one lead or just two leads, we have seen that the old method only detects about 33% of the events that are detected with this new improved method.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.