Small skin patches may offer a more convenient way to diagnose heart rhythm problems than the portable electrocardiogram (ECG) devices known as Holter monitors. Unlike the bulky Holter monitors, the Band-aid–sized patches, which are placed on the chest, have no wires, are waterproof, and can record data continuously for up to two weeks. For now, their biggest role is for people with frequent palpitations, which make people feel as though their heart is pounding, racing, or fluttering. Often, the patch reveals a normal heart rhythm, which lets the person avoid more testing that can be stressful and costly.
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