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LifeWatch Center Monitors Heart Patients Remotely

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A technician at LifeWatch, a health monitoring service, monitors the EKG of one of the company's thousands of patients. (Credit: Lisa Fielding/WBBM)

A technician at LifeWatch, a health monitoring service, monitors the EKG of one of the company’s thousands of patients. (Credit: Lisa Fielding/WBBM)

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ROSEMONT, Ill. (WBBM) – Inside a nine-story building in Rosemont, the difference between life and death could mean a blip on a computer screen.

WBBM Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding takes us inside a place where 350,000 heartbeats are monitored every year.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding reports

Many of us take our heartbeats for granted, but inside LifeWatch, at 10225 W. Higgins Rd. in Rosemont, heart patients rely on technicians to monitor their every beat, and to watch for irregularities that even the patients wouldn’t notice.

Clinical manager Luis Vargas analyzes a computer screen that represents someone wearing a LifeWatch device.

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“We have different measurement to measure – waveforms and their heart rates, and they trigger certain things to call doctors,” Vargas said.

The call center is the only EMT-certified medical monitoring center in the country. Up to 4,000 heartbeats are monitored at any one time.

“We bring the patient up on the screen, and we follow their EKG,” Vargas said.

Chief Technology Officer John Moss says they act as the middle men between the patient and their doctors.

“There’s technology here that can provide data 24/7 on 10 different parameters,” Moss said. “What you have to have are companies like us, with call centers with trained people to make these decisions to decide what goes through to the physician because physicians aren’t equipped to deal with this amount of data that they’ve never seen before.”

Just last month, a woman’s life was saved while she hosted a dinner party. A technician noticed an irregular heartbeat and made an emergency call.

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