Holter Monitor


A Holter monitor is a small wearable device that continuously records your heart rate and rhythm over 24 hours.


Why am I having a Holter monitor?

Your heart is a pump, for this pump to function there is an inbuilt electrical system within your heart that maintains your heartbeat.

Heart rhythm disorders, also known as arrhythmias, are heart conditions where the electrical activity of your heart has fallen out of its normal rhythm.

You may experience the following symptoms if you have an underlying arrhythmia:

  • Palpitations (racing or pounding heartbeat)
  • Fainting, chest pain or dizziness
  • Stroke

To accurately diagnosis you and start your management plan, your cardiologists need to capture the arrhythmia with either an ECG or event monitor. If your symptoms happen regularly a Holter monitor will be recommended to capture the arrhythmia and make a diagnosis.

This monitor was invented by the American biophysicist Norman Jefferis Holter (1914 – 1983), and is colloquially called ‘a Holter’.

What happens during a Holter Monitor?

A Holter monitor is fitted within our practice and then worn continuously for 24 hours while you go about your usual daily activities, including during sleep.

The cardiac technician will:

  • Ask you remove your top so that they have access to your chest
  • Attach small sticky dots to your chest called electrodes that record your hearts electrical activity
  • Connect the leads to the small portable monitor
  • Clip the monitor to your waist band
  • Talk you through what to record in your patient diary, a more accurate diagnosis can be made if you keep a note of your daily activities and the symptoms you experience while wearing the monitor.
  • Make sure the monitor is working and taking accurate readings.

We ask that you avoid getting the monitor wet while wearing it, that is, no swimming, baths or showers please.

Unless you develop pain under the sticky dots, we ask that you do not remove the monitor as our cardiologists will not be able to make a diagnosis unless they have 24 hours of readings to interpret.

At the end of the 24-hour period, you can either remove the monitor yourself or return to one of our centres for our team to remove the monitor. If the monitor was fitted on a Friday, please make sure you remove it after 24-hours on Saturday, turn off the machine and return it to us on Monday morning.

How long does a Holter monitor take?

A Holter monitor will take about 30 minutes to fit and 10-15 minutes the following day to remove the monitor.

How do I prepare?

As you cannot get the monitor wet it is best to shower just before the fitting appointment if possible.

What are the risks?

A Holter monitor is safe and there are not usually any complications, occasionally people may experience a little irritation under the sticky dots.

What to wear?

The cardiac technician will need access to your chest, so it is best to dress in a two-piece outfit on the day of your fitting. We recommend avoid a dress on the day of fitting as the monitor needs to be clipped to a waistband.

What to bring?

Please ensure you bring a copy of your referral with you.

My results?

After you return the monitor our team of cardiologists will interpret your readings and have your results available and sent your referring doctor.