Cardiac monitoring generally refers to continuous or intermittent monitoring of heart activity, generally by electrocardiography, with assessment of the patient's condition relative to their cardiac rhythm.
It is different from hemodynamic monitoring, which monitors the pressure and flow of blood within the cardiovascular system. The two may be performed simultaneously on critical heart patients.
Cardiac monitoring with a small device worn by an ambulatory patient (one well enough to walk around) is known as ambulatory electrocardiography (such as with a Holter monitor, wireless ambulatory ECG, or an implantable loop recorder). Transmitting data from a monitor to a distant monitoring station is known as telemetry or biotelemetry.
Cardiac monitoring is the observation of your heart by a heart monitor to help discover cardiac arrhythmias and other heart conditions that may be present and to help determine heart health. By displaying the activity of your heart into information useful to doctors, you can determine if your heart rate is going above certain criteria or predetermined number that may put you at risk for a cardiac arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythms) or any other type of cardiac abnormality.