Electrocardiography is the application of specific measurement criteria to the electrocardiogram (ECG) waveform, providing a statistical assessment of normalcy versus abnormalcy thereby assisting the physician in the identification and classification of certain forms of heart disease. Approximately 1/3 of all deaths per year are due to heart attacks, the nation's #1 killer. Initial developments in electrocardiography occurred approximately 75 years ago. Computerized electrocardiography analysis systems have been in existence for about the last 20 years and have been rapidly refined. Computers provide a mechanism for accurate interpretation of electrocardiograms and also allow for a cost effective approach to health screening, potentially enabling the early detection of heart disease. This paper includes a brief discussion of the history of electrocardiography, the development of computerized ECG analysis systems, and future trends in computerized electrocardiography.
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