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Understanding the ECG waveform and its related electrical activity of the heart can be complex. Explaining this relation to medical students is important to their professional training. Having to learn this from books alone is limited, especially now ECG education is getting more and more reduced in the curricula. Fortunately there is more interactive leaning material to find on the internet like instructive videos and interactive book.

ECGsim has been developed as an educational tool that enables showing this complex relation in an interactive way by adapting the electrical activity of a heart and observing the effect on the ECG. ECGsim is based on a mathematical model that links the ECG at a model body surface to the local transmembrane potential at the surface of the myocardium (both epicardial and endocardial), either of the atria or ventricles. It includes realistic atrial, ventricular and torso geometries, reconstructed from human MR images.

ECGsim allows changing any of the parameters describing the hearts transmembrane potential, e.g. the depolarization time, the repolarization time and/or the transmembrane potential amplitude in a region of the heart or globally, and visualizes immediately the result on the ECG. Several cases, i.e. heart and thorax models, can be loaded into ECGsim.

By using ECGsim it is easy and intuitively to induce abnormalities such as bundle branch blocks or an infarction at any location, and show their effect on the ECG, helping students to a better understanding of the ECG.

ECGsim can be downloaded free of charge from website ECGsim.