Personal Cardiac Moderators (ECG)

Hello, as anyone used one of those personal cardiac monitors to record an on the spot ECG? I can see that they could have an advantage in that a recording could be made the moment that someone felt some change. I certainly experienced going to the Dr and having an ECG done when I was not in AF and it was perfect.

Certainly the prices seem to be attractive and it would mean going to the Dr loaded will a lot more information than they normally would be able to get. I haven't seen one that does continuous monitoring they all seem to do 30 second monitoring.


10 Replies

  • Hi Robert

    I have never used a personal cardiac monitor, and whilst I can see where you are going with it, may I share my experience and a short story.

    I wanted to buy a BP and pulse monitor and asked advice on this and other boards. Bob D a long time and very wise member of the boards told me not to do it, he said "I only really started getting better when I stopped monitoring myself". I didn't listen (story of my life) and for 2 months I measured my BP and pulse twice a day religiously thinking how much use I could be giving the doctors this info.

    After two months I found out Bob was right, for me measuring was continually reminding me of the condition, and stopping me just getting on with my life despite having permanent A Fib, once I stopped I started exercising, starting losing weight, and really just put myself back into living again.

    This is not to say I am asking you not to get a machine, but I am recommending that you have very strong reasons and an undertstanding of what you want to achieve. Bob D's words stay with me even now, "I only started getting better when I stopped measuring"

    I wish you all the best


  • Actually I said I only started felling better when the batteries went flat! Good point though.


  • I'm with you Bob

    But actually getting AF attack when it is on and off is very hard , I spent two years diagnosed as panic since could not recorded when I reach clinic it is back to normal

    Recently I saw YouTube about a small technology instrument you can be attach it to your smart phone and you can have record your ECG very easily and send it direct to your doctor

    I will try to find the link and you may get the benefits it will add to cardiac patients

    I already have application on my smart phone called cardiograph , you can find it in play store to measure pulse and I compare it with heart monitoring at hospital ( since I'm under monitoring right now for two days) the figures are nearly the same



  • Bob did raise a very good point with regard to BP monitors. There is a lot of advantage however in monitoring at home and this can be the time of monitoring and the fact that you can get a resting BP. Probably more people get a raised BP by going to the doctors then they would if they monitored at home. There was an article it recently to try and encourage more people to home monitoring, because it is being felt that too many people are being treated for hypertension when in fact they do not have hypertension.

    All that being said some people will become anxious over what ever medical monitoring their doing. I have a friend who used to be a nurse and she gets into a real panic state when she sees her blood glucose level raised on a particular day. Spiking is quite normal it's when it stops up player that's the problem.

    In my case my pulse readings were invaluable to the specialist when I took them in it certainly indicated what was happening. Pulse was slow at 50 bpm and never seem to raise. That would seem to be a problem with the sotolol but he didn't want to do anything until you got all the results back and as it turned out to have a holiday as well.

    When I last saw the doctor I was not in AF and it was in that state that he wanted a 24 hour recording but by the time the appointment comes through we had a nice type of 24 hour of be being in AF.

    Overall home monitoring of BP on a random basis unless advised otherwise is to be encouraging people who are pre-hypertensive. We certainly recommended to our patients to get a machine and went back to talk with education. I can't remember anyone who then suffered with anxiety enough to throw the BP readings out.

    But all this doesn't really answer my question. I know the App that is designed for the iPhone I think it's close to £190. It's not available for the android. The other purpose devices seem to do the same thing except they don't email you have to do that manually. But I would agree you're not likely to be recording when there is an acute change, in my case when I start to black out.

    I've had a look at one or two of those pulse measuring your apps and they really designed for people who are into sports they are not very good at recording arrhythmias and I notice quite a few inaccuracies with them.

    So I would still like to hear from someone who is used personal ECG monitor.


  • Hi, this monitors can cause unnecessary anxiety. My BP goes up even when I measure it at home!

  • Being blonde I admit to not being the brightest star in the firmament, but I personally find it difficult to understand any reason to have a personal blood pressure or pulse monitoring device. When AF strikes I am well aware my heart is misbehaving and I don`t feel 100%. My only decision at the time is either to weather the storm for how ever long it lasts or pop along to A & E. I can not see the point of checking my BP etc. every few minutes/hours/days. Everyone`s blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day due to numerous factors, and likewise one`s heart can beat at different rates depending on what one is doing. I am not meaning to express disapproval of anyone who feels such monitors are of benefit and/or comfort, simply saying that for me such things would only be a constant reminder that I have AF and I prefer to get on with my life by keeping AF in the background.

  • Hi,

    I have both a personal ECG and a BP monitor. Both are excellent machines and in my case I believe necessary as I am permanent AF with some additional cardio problems. I was discharged from the hospital several years ago. Hence I am keeping a watching brief over my situation. The ECG is very impressive giving a lot of detail and I have improved my general knowledge on ECG's. It has a computer program that prints a full chart which I can then give to the doctor if required.

    I do a weekly check and have a history file that can be used to monitor changes (none thankfully).

    They are quite expensive but I believe that the cost is worth the reassurance the machine gives.


  • Hi Ken

    Thank you very much for that feedback. It is certainly the sort of thing that I would want to use one for. Interesting how you've learnt all about ECG's. I used to be a nurse and would often take ECGs of people but I never learn to interpret them. Yes you can see irregularities but it's understanding that which is important.

    Have you tried to take your ECG when you were getting some problems or is your condition more consistent throughout.

    Armed with the information you have given me I might have a talk to my doctor when I see him as to what he feels.

    Thank you very much


  • Hi,

    Following up on your point, I have several irregular spasms in every minute. These show as a lost 'P' wave and numerous mini peaks before the main beat. I am on blockers that keep my heart rate at about 85 beats per minute. Without these it would be in excess of 150.

    I have only had one situation since I got the machine where I could actual feel the irregular beat and this showed more pre-beat spikes and a heart rate of 120. This lasted about 20 minutes and quickly returned to my normal state. I had two cups of strong coffee from a new machine and I believe this did not help. Sticking with tea now, so no repeats.



  • I have had AF for over 20 years and its improved gradually after 5 ablations. I bought the choicemed observer handheld ECG in the USA for $99 and I have been able to record virtually every rapid fast rate VR from the AF which I have been able to give to the cardiologist. It's also been helpful to reassure and record when the sinus rhythm has been perfect because having paroxysmal attacks of AF and then SR are just as important to record. Be sure to check you get the ECG software viewer because some are sold without the software which is nearly the same price as the device.

    What you need to be careful with these handheld ECG machines is the compatibility with computers and operating systems. They don't update the software with the latest version of windows. You also need to be able to print the ECG or email it to someone.

    Good luck.

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