Atrial fibrillation General Cardiology

An Iphone ECG monitor–Amazing

I want an iPhone 4.

I need an iPhone 4.

Doctor Wes reported it first, but this futuristic gem shines bright enough for another look.

Here is the 4 minute video outlining how an iPhone can be converted to a real-time ECG event monitor.

If this works in the real-world–and it looks encouraging–it would be an extraordinary helpful tool for patients with heart rhythm problems.

Here are a few examples:

For PVCs: Patients with benign PVCs could see them at the time they were feeling them. This is a great feature, as the major challenge in managing PVCs is convincing patients that they are harmless. “Doc, I used to be so frightened by those thuds, but they always look the same on the iPhone.  I am not scared anymore; they are just my PVCs.”

For AF: Patients with palpitations could correlate symptoms with their rhythm.  Patients with vague symptoms of AF, like “I just don’t feel right,” could assess their own rhythm.

For Atrial Flutter: “Doc, my AF used to stop after awhile.  Now my heart just keeps racing.  I see something on the iPhone rhythm that looks like the edge of a saw.”

For post AF-Ablation monitoring: “Doc, I feel great since the ablation; can I stop my warfarin?” If the iPhone says the rhythm is regular every day than the answer may be yes.

For Dizziness: The patient with a suspected abnormal rhythm can check the iPhone during (or immediately after) an episode of dizziness. “Doc, there are 3 little humps for every spike; that’s not how it used to look.”

For the endurance athlete: Now that would be some data to add to their power files.

On the surface, some doctors might assume that the best feature of this device is its ability to diagnosis a problem.  It’s true, non-invasive, inexpensive, real-time diagnostic tools are very useful, but the greatest value of this unique device may be in the education of, and thus empowerment of patients.

When I am a patient understanding always helps me.

Knowing your rhythm–now that’s a concept.


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