Assessment of prehospital chest pain using telecardiology.

Simonetta Scalvini, Emanuela Zanelli, Claudia Conti, Maurizio Volterrani, Riccardo Pollina, Amerigo Giordano, Fulvio Glisenti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two hundred general practitioners were equipped with a portable electrocardiograph which could transmit a 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) via a telephone line. A cardiologist was available 24 h a day for an interactive teleconsultation. In a 13-month period there were 5073 calls to the telecardiology service and 952 subjects with chest pain were identified. The telecardiology service allowed the general practitioners to manage 700 cases (74%) themselves; further diagnostic tests were requested for 162 patients (17%) and 83 patients (9%) were sent to the hospital emergency department. In the last group a cardiological diagnosis was confirmed in 60 patients and refuted in 23. Seven patients in whom the telecardiology service failed to detect a cardiac problem were hospitalized in the subsequent 48 h. The telecardiology service showed a sensitivity of 97.4%, a specificity of 89.5% and a diagnostic accuracy of 86.9% for chest pain. Telemedicine could be a useful tool in the diagnosis of chest pain in primary care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-236
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Informatics


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