Frequently Asked Questions - Patients

FAQs - Patients

Advanced ECG (A-ECG) uses advanced software techniques to more thoroughly assess the electrical condition of a patient's heart, when compared to conventional ECG alone.

To obtain A-ECG analyses and an A-ECG Report, your healthcare provider first uploads your digital ECG data file, collected on his/her conventional ECG machine, to our secure, password-protected server site.  Your uploaded ECG data file can be either a standard 10-second "snapshot" 12-lead ECG data file (typically a .XML file), or a 5-minute "full disclosure" 12-lead ECG data file.

Our A-ECG analyses, performed securely in Switzerland, then simultaneously consider and incorporate the results from both your conventional 12-lead ECG and, most importantly, your advanced ECG.  Such results are not presently available on any conventional ECG machine. The A-ECG analyses uses advanced ECG parameters from nearly every resting advanced ECG technique which is proven, within cardiovascular medicine's scientific literature, to have diagnostic or prognostic utility. These include techniques with names like T-Wave and QRS-Wave Complexity (TWC and QRSWC) via singular value decomposition (SVD); beat-to-beat QT interval Variability (QTV); beat-to-beat RR interval (Heart Rate) Variability (HRV); derived 3-Dimensional (3D) ECG; and Signal Averaged ECG (SAECG).

If you are scientifically inclined or have some training in cardiovascular medicine, nursing, statistics, or electrical, biomedical or computer engineering,  see this publication (PDF available here) for a general scientific introduction to A-ECG.  Similarly, for a scientific introduction to A-ECG-based Heart Age scoring which can estimate your "Heart Age" (while comparing that to your true chronological age), see this publication. Our other FAQ pages designed for Clinicians and Researchers contain more detailed scientific information.

A-ECG results are integrated and reported in the form of A-ECG "scores", originally constructed by applying sophisticated population statistical techniques like multivariate logistic regression and pattern recognition (e.g., multidimensional discriminant analysis) to results from all available advanced and conventional ECG parameters stored within large underlying (pre-existing) ECG databases constructed from other patients. In addition to conventional ECG and A-ECG information, these same databases contain large amounts of clinical information from both diseased patients and healthy subjects whose cardiac conditions have been precisely defined by non-ECG-based gold-standard imaging tests. Thus any new patient’s statistically integrated A-ECG results (for example your results) are compared against those in these large pre-existing databases, and the A-ECG Report (see examples here) serves to explain and depict the new patient's results not only according to simple “disease versus no disease” scores (probabilities), but also according to the probability of the presence of any given type of heart disease already characterized ("fingerprinted") by means of earlier patients' results within the pre-existing databases. In addition, if your overall A-ECG results fall into the "healthy" range (i.e., are most similar to those of patients already in the database(s) who have known non-diseased hearts), A-ECG can also estimate, from a full-disclosure (5-min+) 12-lead ECG recording, your A-ECG Heart Age score, contrasting that to your true chronological age. Examples of A-ECG Heart Age scoring can also be found within several of the EXAMPLE A-ECG REPORTS

For a review of the logistics of how your clinician can use our website (and/or a dedicated securely shared folder) to upload your raw ECG data file, and then ultimately receive a detailed A-ECG Report for you, refer to this graphic.

If your current healthcare provider owns a modern ECG machine upon which you've recently had a conventional 12-lead ECG collected, and he/she stores his/her patients' 12-lead ECG data files in a compatible digital format (most commonly in a .XML or similar format), then it's very possible that you could receive your A-ECG results and Report through him or her, depending on the exact ECG machine he/she owns. For a list of stored digital 12-lead ECG file types (and their related ECG machine manufacturers) that are usable for A-ECG, usually for 10-sec snapshot A-ECG reports, less commonly for 5-min full-disclosure A-ECG reports, refer to the Supported Formats information in the lower half of the PRODUCTS AND SERVICES section of our website. If your previously collected 12-lead ECG data file has been stored in a compatible digital format (noting that paper-based ECGs and mere images or scans of ECGs that are stored in formats like PDF, GIF, etc, are not acceptable), then ask your provider to contact us to set up an A-ECG providers' account. He/she can do this by just emailing us ( or if desired, by utilizing the MANAGE ECG FILE section within his/her newly registered account. Note though that it's likely that you'll need to personally pay your provider something for the time he/she (and/or his/her personnel) have spent locating and uploading your compatible digital ECG file(s).

If an A-ECG Report is desired for a person who has not recently had a conventional 12-lead ECG, or whose relevant previous conventional 12-lead ECG has not been stored in a compatible digital format, then that person would need to have a new conventional 12-lead ECG performed on a machine capable of exporting a compatible file before an A-ECG Report could be generated. In many countries, and especially for any patient who relies on a third party payer such as an insurer or government for payment of medical expenses, your healthcare provider might first need to conclude that a conventional 12-lead ECG test is truly medically necessary for you (or for your friend or relative), before he/she could pursue the necessary 12-lead ECG data collection. If on the other hand you intended to assume on your own, either directly or through a tax-advantaged Health Savings Account or similar, your provider's fees for simply collecting and uploading a conventional resting 12-lead ECG data file in a compatible format (probably inexpensive, especially if you shopped around), then you could of course make your own consumer-driven decision in this matter. 

Because we prefer to discount the prices of our research services to healthcare providers, researchers and self-motivated patients, rather than spend any funds on marketing or advertising, we're extending the following benefit to all patients through the end of 2018:  For any patient who contacts his/her locally licensed healthcare provider who is currently "conventional 12-lead ECG capable only", and serves as the impetus for that provider in turn contacting us and becoming one of our registered providers of A-ECG Reports, we will entirely waive our own fee(s) for that particular patient's "first file associated" A-ECG Report. To obtain this discount, ask your provider to contact us first (i.e., email us at to request an initial informational briefing, as also explained within the last FAQ located in the Clinicians and Researchers FAQ section. During that briefing, your provider should then also relay your name or other clinical identifier to us. After we analyze the ECG file we receive for you, assuming that it's in a compatible format and otherwise acceptable and "clean", we will then produce and forward your associated A-ECG Report to your provider at no charge to you or your provider. Note though that you'll probably still need to pay something to your provider for his/her having physically collected your compatible 12-lead ECG data file, as those activities of course involve his/her time and service, not our own. However, if you are insured and your provider believes that you have a medical need or indication for a conventional 12-lead ECG test anyway, then your insurance coverage might cover part or all of your provider's fees.  

Yes, but for informational purposes only, not for the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of any medical condition, nor for the prescription of any medications or other treatments, all of these being clinical items that are the responsibility of your local healthcare provider. To schedule a brief, information-only consultation with Dr. Schlegel in the English language, email Dr. Schlegel directly (, specifying your location, email address, telephone number, and Skype address (if you are not in Switzerland), as well as the best day(s) of the week and time(s) to reach you. After you email us and we receive your request for a consultation, we will contact you, initially by email within the next several working days. Note that patients will be charged a nominal fee for informational briefings, the exact amount depending upon the country in which you reside and the length of time you propose to converse. The proposed fee specific to you will be contained in our initial email reply to your inquiry, such that if you construe the proposed fee to be too expensive, you can still decline the informational briefing at that time (i.e., before the briefing happens) at no cost. Note that when suggesting consultation times, please also keep in mind that we ourselves are in Switzerland and thus on Central European Time.