ECG Modernization Project Information

It has been brought to the attention of the FAA that ECG equipment or service vendors are contacting the AME community in an effort to sell equipment to AMEs. The decision to purchase new ECG equipment is yours to make; however, please understand that if you have ECG equipment, only in rare circumstances would you be required to purchase new ECG equipment. Those circumstances are:

  • Your existing ECG equipment is unable to generate the ECG report in PDF format; and
  • your existing ECG equipment is unable to print the ECG report.

If your existing ECG equipment cannot produce the ECG report in PDF format, but can print the ECG, you can scan the printed copy of the ECG to PDF format.

Before making the decision to purchase new ECG equipment, we strongly recommend you contact your current ECG equipment provider to verify the capabilities of your equipment.

Project Status

August 27, 2014 - The new release of AMCS was deployed.

August 26, 2014 - We are on schedule to deploy the new version of AMCS on August 27, 2014, beginning at 6:00 a.m. CDT.

August 20, 2014 - We will deploy the new version of AMCS on August 27, 2014.

August 14, 2014 - We identified three significant problems this afternoon during final testing; the issues will be resolved within a few days. While we could deploy the new version of AMCS as early as the week of August 18th, we likely will deploy the changes during the week of August 25, 2014. We will keep you informed.

August 13, 2014 - The release notes related to changes made to AMCS to support the attachment of ECGs are available for download. Also included in the AMCS release notes is information related to processing Air Traffic Control (ATC) applicants.

August 12, 2014 - We continue to test the operation of the changes to support the ECG Modernization Project. Recent testing has gone well and we are on schedule to deploy the changes being made to AMCS to support this project on August 15, 2014.

August 1, 2014 - We continue to test the operation of the changes to support the ECG Modernization Project. We have experienced a short delay in the testing process; as a result, we now plan to deploy the changes being made to AMCS to support this project on August 15, 2014.

Questions you have asked

1.) At what resolution should the ECG be scanned?
You should scan the ECG at 300 dpi using grayscale mode. Black and white scanning is acceptable; however, it has been our experience images scanned in grayscale mode are easier to read. Scanning in color mode is not necessary for our purposes, but is acceptable. Please note: scanning in color mode produces significantly larger file sizes when compared to file sizes created when scanning in black and white or grayscale modes.

2.) What applicant information should we include on the ECG?
We must have the following information:

  • Correct full name
  • Correct date of birth
  • The correct date on which ECG was performed

Also helpful is the following applicant information:

  • Age
  • Height
  • Weight

Project Summary

With the assistance of several senior AMEs, we have been testing changes to AMCS. The changes allow you, the senior AME, to attach ECG reports in PDF format to the pilot's medical application before submitting the information to the FAA. We initiated testing on July 10, 2014. At this time we plan to deploy this new release of AMCS on August 15, 2014 .

As we approach the scheduled deployment date, we will provide you with documentation regarding changes to AMCS. Though the changes to AMCS are specific to senior AMEs, all AMEs will notice the changes made to AMCS. Even if you do not perform Class 1 pilot medical examinations, it is important for you to be advised of the changes.

Why are we modernizing the ECG system?

This information is for FAA senior AMEs (those AMEs authorized to issue Class 1 medical certificates.)

During the fall of 2013, the Aerospace Medical Certification Division, in partnership with FAA's Office of Information Technology, began work to replace the existing FAA ECG system. This information is to inform you of the project and impacts to your exam submittal process.

There are three reasons to modernize the FAA ECG System at this time.

  1. On September 30, 2014 the support contract we have in place with the existing vendor will expire, and cannot be renewed.
  2. The technology used to receive ECGs is antiquated; the existing system relies on the use of modems to receive ECG data from AMEs. The analog technology required by modems is becoming increasingly difficult to acquire.
  3. Equipment used to capture ECG data has improved vastly since we deployed the current ECG system. There are far more ECG equipment vendors from which to select, should you be required to purchase new equipment.

To prepare for this new ECG system, you should know the following:

  • Using AMCS you will attach the completed resting ECG reports in PDF format (Portable Document Format) to the exam information submitted to the FAA. If an ECG is required of the applicant, you must attach the ECG reports (in PDF format) in order to submit the exam information.
  • If your current equipment or medical support systems support export of PDF ECG reports, there is no need to upgrade your existing ECG equipment. Likely this will be the case for the majority of current senior AMEs.
  • If your existing cardiology systems and equipment are not capable of exporting a PDF ECG report, you have four options:
    1. Digitize (scan) the paper ECG and save in PDF format. Scan the paper ECG using landscape orientation and scan at a resolution of 300 dpi. It is not necessary to scan the ECG using color. Attach the PDF file to the application via AMCS. Please note - applicant processing may be delayed if image quality of the scanned image is unnacceptable.
    2. Acquire new ECG equipment (partial list of vendors included);
    3. Contact your cardiology system vendor for availability of utilities to export to PDF;
    4. Acquire cloud-based virtual ECG services to perform ECGs which render PDF reports on your AMCS workstation. Any service you use should provide you with a PDF file for each ECG they perform for your airman.
  • AMCS Support Desk personnel can assist with AMCS usage, however they are unable to assist you with the acquisition or configuration of ECG equipment, communications, integration, or how to use ECG equipment to generate a PDF report. The equipment manufacturer is the appropriate contact for this support. If you have IT support in your office they may be able to assist you.
  • Our target date for deploying the new system is on or around August 15, 2014.
  • We will take the current ECG system offline when we deploy the AMCS changes.

Testing

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) will begin on or around July 7, 2014.

Changes to AMCS

Changes to AMCS to support the attachment of PDF ECG reports are minimal. There will be a new icon (likely an image of a paper clip) in the left toolbar of each page in AMCS. Upon deployment, this icon is to be used only to attach ECGs when required. Additionally on the Search Applicants page of AMCS, there will be an Attach ECG tool so you may attach an ECG for those applicants requiring an ECG. Important - if an ECG is required for the applicant, you will not be able to submit exam information via AMCS until you attach the PDF ECG report file.

As we draw near the date of deployment we will provide you with detailed documentation, including screen shots, of the changes in AMCS.

Partial List of ECG Equipment and Cloud Service Providers

Please note - the Federal Aviation Administration does not endorse any of the vendors or providers shown. If you are an AME and you know of a vendor you would like to recommend, or should you be an ECG equipment vendor and you wish to be included, please send an email to david.nelms@faa.gov and include applicable company information.

These listings, especially the vendor listing, are updated regularly. Please check the listings periodically for current vendor listings.