Smartphone device provides useful ECGs

May 22, 2014

A smartphone-compatible device provides remote electrocardiogram (ECG) tracings of sufficient quality to allow outpatient management of children and adolescents with arrhythmias, according to information presented at the Heart Rhythm Society meeting in San Francisco, California.

 

A smartphone-compatible device provides remote electrocardiogram (ECG) tracings of sufficient quality to allow outpatient management of children and adolescents with arrhythmias, according to information presented at the Heart Rhythm Society meeting in San Francisco, California.

Made by AliveCor (San Francisco, California), the US Food and Drug Administration-cleared mobile heart monitor snaps onto a smartphone and rests on a patient’s fingers or chest to generate a single-lead ECG, which is then transmitted to a free app on the phone. Compared with traditional 12-lead ECG readings, the device allows for convenient, real-world, anytime monitoring at a cost of about $200.00.

In the yearlong SPEAR (Smartphone Pediatric Electrocardiogram) trial, researchers investigated use of the device on an iPhone 4, 4S, or 5 in 30 young patients ranging in age from 2 months to 18 years. Half the children had supraventricular tachycardia; 27% had ventricular tachycardia; 13% had atrial fibrillation; and 10% had ectopic atrial fibrillation.

The investigators asked the participants (or their caregivers) to e-mail any concerning ECG readings recorded by the device to a team of pediatric electrophysiologists, who contacted the patients/parents by e-mail or phone within 15 minutes with simple reassurance or further instructions.

Over the course of a year, 20 of 30 patients e-mailed 144 recordings; one patient/family sent 15 in 1 month. The tracings resulted in diagnoses including sinus tachycardia, supraventricular tachycardia, and atrial fibrillation. Three of the tracings were unreadable because of motion artifacts.

According to the presenters, periodic online surveys revealed that 99% of the users (or their parents) were interested in continuing to use the device: 98% felt the device was easy to use; 98% reported a high level of comfort with the device; and 93% said the tracings were easy to submit.


 

 

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