A new cardiac monitoring device implanted for the first time in Northern Ireland represents a "breakthrough" for diagnosing serious heart conditions, a doctor has said.
Craigavon Area Hospital recently became the first in the region to implant a patient with the BioMonitor. Terence Herron, 47, from Portadown, is recovering well.
The machine sends daily updates to doctors without the patient having to do anything. Medical experts can check the heart over long periods and use the data to pursue more effective treatment.
Mr Herron said: "I feel reassured that the doctors will be able to keep a close eye on how I am doing and I can get on with my life knowing that my heart is being monitored round the clock by the doctors for any sign of problems."
The monitor tracks the patient's heart rate and rhythm and can detect if it is beating fast, slowly or irregularly. There has been one BioMonitor implant in Limerick and several in England.
Dr David McEneaney, consultant cardiologist at Craigavon, said: "BioMonitor is a diagnostic breakthrough. We often have patients who, for unknown reasons, repeatedly faint or complain of dizziness. We need a snapshot of what happened in order to properly assess the situation and this is only possible with continuous monitoring of the heart that reveals unpredictable arrhythmias and transmits data about them immediately."
He said the machine was a significant improvement on previous external devices, which could only detect a small percentage of these potentially serious conditions.
"BioMonitor gives doctors very precise and reliable information and supports us in every step from diagnosis via monitoring through to individualised therapy, offering high-quality solutions that benefit both doctors and patients," he added.