Diagnostic processes and the utilisation of ECG have developed considerably over the past few decades.
Before his retirement, cardiologist Mikko Syvänne held several key positions related to the treatment of heart diseases. He served as Chief Physician at the Department of Cardiology of Helsinki University Central Hospital and as Chief Physician of the Finnish Heart Association.
“Although general practitioners were taught the interpretation of basic ECG at least in the 1970s, if not earlier, Holter analytics was initially used mainly by specialists. In long, 24-hour measurements, a specialist would study an ECG report on a computer screen using fast forward and would stop to examine any deviations they detected,” says Syvänne.
In the 1980s, the largest primary healthcare units used to hire clinical physiologists to monitor and interpret the results of stress ECG tests. General practitioners have also wanted to develop their ECG interpretation skills. ECG training sessions are popular at the annual Doctor event in Finland, for example. An ECG ruler is a familiar tool for doctors in measuring ECG time intervals and, these days, also for checking automatic analyses. In addition, it serves as an aid to memory with regard to some common ECG changes.