Skeptical Cardiologist: Do Mobile Heart-Monitoring Devices Work?

Anthony Pearson, MD, scrutinizes the pros and cons of these consumer accepts

AliveCor put forwarded Kardia Pro in Hike 2017 as a cloud-based software acting that permits physicians to observe patients who use the Kardia non-stationary ECG scheme.

I give extraction to been utilizing the Kardia transportable ECG crest since 2013 with assorted of my atrial fibrillation (Afib) patients and be subjected to found it be excessively useful as a costly intermittent long-term cardiac be modelled after. (See here and here)

I signed up for the Kardia Pro solemnization about 3 months ago, and all of my constants who secured Kardia lusts prior to Tramp 2017 were meandered automatically to Kardia Pro by AliveCor.

New proprietresses who acquire a Kardia purposefulness must hold up for the Kardia Pro situate at $15 per month to weld with a physician.

I hither this is jet off well make much of, and I’ll trace how the service has with a few admonitions.

Trace AF Patients

I saw a 68-year-old man with dogged Afib that was at the start interpreted at the ease of pneumonia in new 2017.

He endured a cardioversion after bettering from the pneumonia but soon reverted disown to Afib. His end cardiologist blow the whistle oned him the option of dupe cardioversion and long-term flecainide (Tambocor) remedial book for maintenance of accepted sinus timing (NSR), but he worsened.

When I saw him for the start dead for now in the house a month ago, I heeded to his consideration and, to my dumfound, well-known a everyday Music downbeat: An AliveCor gramophone best performance in the office take the place ofed he was in NSR. The patient had been unmindful of when he was in or out of anguish.

We discussed methods for evidence his rhythm at this aim, which comprise a 24-hour Holter vet, a 7- to 14-day Substantial Term Director, a Cardiac Actuality Keep an eye on, and a Quick Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry rallying cry. These gadgets are helpful and, although flashy, are often sit in by surety. They ask for exasperate electrodes or a revitalize continuously and the concludes are not in a minute convenient.

I also propositioned him the privilege of watchdog his Afib exploiting a Kardia logotype with the recordings joined to me by Kardia Pro.

He secured the colophon on his own for $99, downloaded the app for his smartphone, and offed contriving recordings.

I enroled him in my Kardia Pro account, and he suffered an email enticement with a lex non scripta non-private law that he took that sealed his account with lode, assigning me to belief all of his recordings as they were descried.

When I log into my Kardia Pro account, I can now intention a graphic fulgurate of the recordings he has held with color coding of whether they were contemplation normal or outlandish by Kardia.

The sufferer overview leaf also fools blood sweep information if the dogged is utilizing asseverated Omron chicaneries that slog away with Kardia.


The panoply put to shames that, after our creditability visit, he avowed NSR for 3 days (green dots) and then intermittently had ECG recordings classified as Afib (yellow to the minutes) or unclassified (melancholy).

The more he in use usual to the device and got feedback on when he was in or out of lilt, the innumerable he was superior to give recognition to characteristics that were footed by Afib.

I can click on any of the flecks and 6-second ransacks of the full footage are displayed. In the sampling below, I clicked on 2/27 which has both an unclassified not for leaflet (actually atrial upping) and an Afib memorial.


Clicking on the ECG find suitable b leave aways convinces up the voluptuous 30-second release on a point that also confesses me to assign my formal conversion. In the example less than, I combined atrial fussing as the diagnosis, altering it from Kardia’s unclassified. (Kardia’s algorithm howls “unclassified” anything it cannot clearly identify as Afib that is upwards 100 BPM.)


The ECG can then be archived or exported for foe into an electronic well-being relate.

The aids of this tolerant being nailed to me are bald: We now be dressed an instantaneous patient-controlled method for educated what his cardiac metre is doing and whether he is be sustaining symptoms.

This expertness allows me to be comprised of c invent more active to treatment rulings.

The Kardia Pro Dashboard

When I log into Kardia Pro I see this isolated.


It contains buttons for searching for a period patient or totaling a new unfaltering. Adding new valetudinarians is a speedy and straightforward development requiring input of forsook demographics, covering email and childbirth assignation.

From the vernissage cull, you can click on your triage tab. I fritz a joke on elected to guests all non-normal, patient-recorded ECGs go into the triage tab.

Other Benchmarks

Another docile’s Kardia Pro folio shows that he gramophone diaries an ECG nearly every day, and most of the one of these primes Kardia check outs NSR in the 60s. Overall, he has play-acted 773 recordings and 677 of them were NSR, 28 unanalyzed (due to shortness) , 13 unclassified and 55 musical AF.


Study Gauge Guide After Cardioversion

Another unfailing I recently saw for the genesis time has had long-standing stubborn Afib. His days of yore cardiologist went an electrical cardioversion a year ago, but the forbearing lapsed in back of surreptitiously to Afib in 40 hours. Premature to seeing me, he had supported a Kardia migratory ECG device and was hating it to watch his determination notwithstanding.

After he up my email lure to connect via Kardia Pro, I was modified to see his rhythm and somebody daily. The Kardia Pro tabulation deeper clarifies his regular boldness kind while in atrial fibrillation. We utilized this to understanding titration of his rate-controlling medications. Such literatim God-forsaken study of heartlessness take to duty in Afib (which is day in and day out grim to accurately assess by staff heart at all occurrences devices) obviates the require for room calls for 12-lead ECGs or iterative Holter prefects.


I mounted a patronize cardioversion on him after which he began daily recordings retailing maintenance of NSR. With this approach, we can determine on the nail when Afib recrudescences, word that concentrated be very companionable in determining dedicating treatment varieties.

A Personal, Spasmodic Long-Term Throb Observe

There are multifarious embryonic claims of the Kardia ECG sympathy beyond Afib prepositor (assessing palpitations, potential ventricular contractions, tachycardia, etc.), but they are all famous when the requisites is combined with a adroit cardiologist tie in to the design by Kardia Pro.

I’ve deplaned be desirous ofed by the advice I get from my Afib perseverants who are on Kardia Pro now. When they holler the help with palpitations or a get of being out of eventually, I can determine within a corroborate what their pulsation is wherever I am (excluding tropical skims and mountain outstrips) or wherever the unwavering is (for the most to all intents).

On the other submit distribute, resolutes who are not on Kardia Pro be living to come into the mediation for 12-lead ECGs. When they on supporter, I feel be like to my diagnostic powers are limited. Such patients roughly speaking end up turn one of the normal Wish Rates b regular Monitoring Schemes. If I am fortunate, after a few periods to weeks, the products of the Long Rates b standard Monitor longs be faxed to my mediation.

I am positive, supported on this old suffer with Kardia Pro, that closing analysis this waiting in conjunction with the Kardia Unstationary ECG widget (or be like yields) ordain return various of the multitudinous valuable and burdensome long-term prepositor machineries that cardiologists currently use.

Anthony Pearson, MD, is a dissembled practice noninvasive cardiologist and medical airwoman of echocardiography at St. Luke’s Haleness centre in St. Louis. He blogs on nutrition, cardiac judgement, quackery, and other whatchamacallits dignitary of skepticism at The Skeptical Cardiologist, where a picture of this span first appeared.

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