Overview of Holter and Ambulatory Telemetry Monitors
Ambulatory EKG monitoring allows your healthcare providers to monitor your EKG over a period of time, while you're going about regular activities. There are two common types of ambulatory monitors — Holter monitors and ambulatory telemetry monitors (ATMs).
Holter monitor: A 24 to 48-hour Holter monitor is a device which records your heart's activity over this period of time as you go about your daily activities. Like an EKG, it is safe and painless.
A Holter monitor is a small box about the size of a pager. It has cables that are attached to electrodes on your chest. The monitor records the activity of your heart digitally. The information is downloaded to a computer and scanned by expertly trained technicians, and the results of the scan are given to a physician to interpret for a diagnosis.
In Holter monitoring, several electrodes (usually 7) are placed on your chest and connected to a small monitor worn around the waist or neck, or on a belt loop.
Ambulatory telemetry: Ambulatory telemetry monitors (ATMs) are similar to a Holter monitor, but are prescribed for patients when symptoms are infrequent or not predictable, (may not occur during a given 24 to 48-hour period of time).
Patients wear ambulatory telemetry for up to 30 days. Patients are taught to remove the monitor daily before showering and then re-attach the monitor after showering. When symptoms occur, patients can push a button to mark their symptoms. But all heart beats are stored and analyzed, even if the patient is not having symptoms. The information is continuously downloaded to a receiving center 24 hours a day while the monitor is attached to the patient. Physicians are notified of any critical findings during the study.
Holter and Ambulatory Telemetry Monitors in Depth
Learn more about Holter and ambulatory telemetry monitors from Intermountain's Patient Education Library:
Learn what happens (and what you need to do) before, during, and after this procedure:
Where Do I Go?
Patients may have their ATM and Holter monitors placed at the Heart Institute's main facility: Intermountain Medical Center (building #4), or at one of the other Intermountain hospitals in the Salt Lake Valley, including Alta View Hospital, LDS Hospital, or Riverton Hospital.
Patients may "walk-in," if they come right from their physician appointment, though scheduled appointments are preferred as we have a limited number of monitors.
For Holter monitors: Please note that you will not be able to shower for 24-48 hours (depending on the length of the study).
For ATMs: The ATM can also be mailed to your home, though it will take three to five days to arrive.
If you have questions please call us: 801-507-4701.