There are ways to prevent heart disease such as embracing a healthy lifestyle and there are diagnostic tools to monitor our hearts too, thanks to the work of two creative and persistent men, Norman Jeff Holter and Bruce Del Mar - Alison Oswald


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Ambulatory electrocardiography: The contribution of Norman Jefferis Holter

Norman Jefferis “Jeff” Holter was a pioneer in the field of ambulatory electrocardiography, and the inventor of the portable cardiac telemetry device that bears his name and is used worldwide to this day. He famously made a case for continuous ambulatory cardiac monitoring by comparing the collection of heart data with the work of a mining engineer, who “does not assay a mountain of ore by testing one rock.”

Jeff Holter’s words resonate with many physicians who have stood by the bedside of a patient with a suspected rhythm disturbance, only to have a benign-looking electrocardiogram on hand. As a single rock sample cannot reveal the riches of ore within a mountain because of sampling…

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 Ambulatory electrocardiography: The contribution of Norman Jefferis Holter

Several formats and variations of ambulatory electrocardiography exist, including 24- and 48-hour monitoring, use of event recorders, and, more recently, use of implantable loop recorders that can last several years. The type of ambulatory electrocardiography cardiac monitoring device chosen depends on the indication for evaluation as well as on the frequency of symptoms.

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Ambulatory monitors are small, portable electrocardiograph machines that are able to record the heart’s rhythm. Each type of monitor has unique features related to length of recording time and ability to send the recordings over the phone.


The Holter monitor may be able to detect irregularities in your heart rhythm that an electrocardiogram couldn't, since an electrocardiogram usually takes only a few minutes.


Holter monitoring gives doctors a constant reading of your heart rate and rhythm over a 24-hour period (or longer).

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