Q Fever! Medical Humor & Satire

November 1, 2000 | Volume 1, Issue 10

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New Cardiac Monitors Installed

Picture-In-Picture, scrolling stock ticker claimed to improve care

OMAHA, NE—On Tuesday, Synesis, the nation's largest manufacturer of medical monitoring devices, announced plans to release a new cardiac monitor, tentatively dubbed the "iCU-Box," for use in critical care and telemetry settings.

Brief History of EKG's
and Telemetry

1856 Rudolph von Koelliker and Heinrich Muller record the first action potential.

1893 Willem Einthoven introduces the term 'electrokardiogram' at a meeting of the Dutch Medical Association but later claims that Augustus Waller was first to use the term. In the same year, Abner Einthoven invents baseball in Cooperstown, NY.

1905 Einthoven transmits electrocardiograms from his hospital to his laboratory 1.5 km away via Palm Pilot. On March 22 the first 'telekardiogram' is captured; on March 23, an overly neurotic attending physician reminds medical students that the proper American term for EKG is "ECG"

1918 Boston Red Sox win their last World Series. In the years to follow, demoralized Boston fans divert their hopes and aspirations towards becoming groundbreaking cardiology researchers instead.

1924 Dr. Paul Dudley White of Massachusetts General Hospital established the American Heart Association and served as Executive Director of the National Advisory Heart Council, overseeing the creation of the National Institutes of Health. Few care.

1924 Willem Einthoven wins Nobel prize for inventing the electrocardiograph. Coincidentally, Ted Williams is born in Raleigh, NC.

1932 TV broadcasting begins in Canada on July 20, 1931. EKGs play little or no direct role in TV's development or production.

1989 CNBC begins broadcasts on April 17, 1989. Once again, EKGs play little or no role.

1998 Barney the Purple Dinosaur's "Great Adventure" Movie Released. EKG shows incomplete right bundle branch block.

A prototype iCU-Box, unveiled at the annual Omaha Consumer Electronic Show, featured a a 25" flat screen monitor with Digital Dolby Surround Sound, Picture-in-Picture, and a built-in scrolling ticker with live streaming quotes from the Dow and NASDAQ, as well as from the late Sir William Osler.

"Previously," said Synesis R&D coordinator Ervin Möeller, "cardiac monitors had only the dull monophonic droning of each heart beat, along with those predictable 3-color tracings for the EKG, pulmonary wedge pressure and pulse ox."

"Now, the electronic beeping of the cardiac rhythm can be heard the same way as in movie theaters: coming from eight speakers encircling the patient and physician, for a true 360-degree octaphonic experience."

Company spokespeople state that Picture-in-Picture (PIP) will allow physicians and patients to watch a smaller version of the information already on the cardiac monitor, and to swap back and forth between the two screens at will.

In addition, the live stock ticker is expected to more than double the amount of time physicians at patient bedsides, which some industry analysts feel will translate into better patient care, though the transmission of resistant bacteria to the patients is also expected to increase.

Synesis plans to add closed-captioning in Spanish and French by Fall 2001.

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