Trends Cardiovasc Med. 2020 Aug 16:S1050-1738(20)30107-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tcm.2020.08.002. Online ahead of print.
As the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic marches unrelentingly, more patients with cardiac arrhythmias are emerging due to the effects of the virus on the respiratory and cardiovascular (CV) systems and the systemic inflammation that it incurs, and also as a result of the proarrhythmic effects of COVID-19 pharmacotherapies and other drug interactions and the associated autonomic imbalance that enhance arrhythmogenicity. The most worrisome of all arrhythmogenic mechanisms is the QT prolonging effect of various anti-COVID pharmacotherapies that can lead to polymorphic ventricular tachycardia in the form of torsade des pointes and sudden cardiac death. It is therefore imperative to monitor the QT interval during treatment; however, conventional approaches to such monitoring increase the transmission risk for the staff and strain the health system. Hence, there is dire need for contactless monitoring and telemetry for inpatients, especially those admitted to the intensive care unit, as well as for outpatients needing continued management. In this context, recent technological advances have ushered in a new era in implementing digital health monitoring tools that circumvent these obstacles. All these issues are herein discussed and a large body of recent relevant data are reviewed.