Re AliveCor

Hi, I'm just asking if anyone else who has an alivecor app on their phone, is going to take up the offer of an ECG analysis by 'an expert'? They say it will cost a 'small fee' for the service, ok maybe it would be worth it. However, I'm slightly nervous that if I go for it, I may find out something about my heart that would scare me. So, so far I haven't taken that step. Has anyone else? Or are you thinking about it?

Thanks JanR

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  • Hi jan-ran, I would have thought if you have something wrong with your heart you would already have had numerous ECG's and the experts at the hospital would give you advice and diagnosis for free. Perhaps I am being naive or am I missing something. A 99p app on your phone will take your heart rate and keep a history of multiple readings if you want to show your GP or Cardiologist. Do alivecor say how long a recording you get for your money? I think you are right to be slightly nervous. Of course it is your choice. If you have never had an ECG and are worried that there is something wrong your GP will discuss your worries and do one in the surgery if they have that facility. Is there any reason you are thinking of getting this analysis?

  • yes MS-J-W, I have of course, had a few examinations, ecg, monitors etc. (I can choose the length of time for a reading on alivecor, btw, and I usually stick to 1 minute.) What I'm nervous about is the reading picking up something new in my heart, that hasn't been spotted before. It's been a few years since the last scan or ecg. I am actually due to see the cardiologist in April, and I intend to show him some of my readings anyway.The truth is, something HAS changed in the past couple of months, and I actually feel better. I seem to be getting loads of ectopics, and some MILD episodes of af, slightly further apart, and neither of these is making me feel ill, like a full on episode of af used to, as in the past 18 years. It sounds good, and hopefully the change is indeed for the better, but the usual thinking with af is that it can only get worse as you grow older. Apart from an ablation or two which seem to do the trick for many people. I've never been considered for that, I think I'm too old, or not fit enough.

    ( I should mention that I am one of the lucky ones who was treated with a beta blocker that suited me in the first place, after which my af went away for years, probably a decade. Imagine my shock when it came back! )

    The only reason I am thinking of getting the analysis is....because I can! However, I shall wait till I hear from others who go for it, and see if they find it beneficial and useful information.

    Thank you for your input, anyway, nice to make contact.

    JanR

  • Hi Mrs J W. The AliveCor is a brilliant device, not at all a 99p app, which gives an excellent ECG tracing. The AFA were offering them free for people willing to trial them and participate in a research project, don't know if they are still available, otherwise you can purchase one for £160. The device is a cover which fits onto a smart phone and after then downloading the app will give you an ECG tracing, usually as good as the holter ecg's. The advantage is that you can always carry it with you and record any funnies for your consults. It probably saved my husband's life as it picked up an episode of bradycardia were his heart had paused for more than 4 seconds, which is life threatening. No more not capturing that elusive episode. I might add husband had a pacemaker fitted within the month.

  • Hi CDreamer, Thank you for the information re Alivecor, it was the associated 'paying' for the analysis that was concerning me more, preying on someone's insecurities on what may or may not be wrong with them. The NHS might not be perfect but I would trust it more than some company. Do you know if Alivecor is this companies product or is it something that they are using to make money. Just curious. More information needed I think to advise people that Alivecor can be used in conjunction with your own GP/Cardiologists without being ripped off.

  • Check out their website alivecor.com or through the link on the AFA site. This is a private US company who came into Europe a couple of years ago. Obviously they are profit making so any angle they can use to make money, they will. In US you pay T least $50 to make an appointment with a medic so I would imagine that $8 for an interpretation would be seen as good value there. I also notice that in the US they now need a prescription to buy one. Trouble is the software platform seems to be universal so we now get the US adverts when you take an ECG which is suspect.

    They took a stand at the AFA Birmingham Patients' day, I talked to them for a while and found them very helpful, they showed me how it works with an ipad as well as a smart phone. I think it is a great gadget which enables me & my EP to monitor my progress, without the hassle of attending a physical examine as I live 220 miles away, which really suits me, and we travel quite a lot.

  • Hi Cdreamer

    Can you tell me how to use it with an iPad? I thought it only worked with an I phone, would it work with my samsung? Could you let me know? Thanks

    Eileen

  • Sure, if you have a cover on Ipad remove it. Place the microphone end of Ipad facing you and place the AliveCor adjacent to that end of the IPad, take your reading as per normal. The signal is picked up through the microphone so it does need to be very near, watch for the bar signals to tell you when in range, like you have on your phone when you have a connection signal.

    Obviously you need to have downloaded the app and logged into your account on your IPad prior to taking your tracing. My husband uses my AliveCor on his account on the IPad so never any confusion as to whose is whose!

  • Thanks, picked up one at the conference but have never used it, will have some fun later

    Eileen

  • Let me know how you get on. You must keep very still and it helps to moisten finger tips with antiseptic gel, or just lick them!

  • They brought out an android version, different animal, a few months ago.

  • Hi, sorry I posted to the wrong person, check out my reply to you on re AliveCor thread

  • I keep getting flyers through the post and I see advertisements for heart checks costing in the region of £140. They always mention AF. I am tempted to turn up on a good day when my heart is not fibrillating and see what their tests reveal. One advert actually states that you only have to take your socks off. Why then do I have to strip to the waist whenever the NHS does an ECG on me? And I keep my socks on !!!

  • Hi Jan I find those boxes inviting you to have the analysis really annoying and obviously aimed at the US market where you have to pay for everything. If I want advice on my ecg's I always email them directly to my EP if something I am really worried about or my GP, both of whom think the AliveCor app is wonderful. Assuming you are in the UK Why would we pay for the analysis? It's only since the update we have had this feature but I don't think that they distinguish between US and European markets, yet.

  • Hi Jan,

    I received the update to my AliveCor app a couple of days before AFA said it was available. Decided to give the analysis a go and see what they said. The cost was $7. The report didn't tell me anything I didn't already know, from my own investigation of my ecg. They did make one mistake in saying there was one ventricular ectopic, when there were three within the minute recording. Apart from the initial trial, I would not use it on a regular basis unless there was some dramatic change and even then I think I would rather get another referral to see my EP. Going to see my GP on Tuesday about another couple of AF unrelated things and plan to discuss it with her to see what her reaction is. She knows I try various things on my own, like the day I took my BP monitor to the surgery to compare it with her reading, so should be interesting to hear what she says.

    Walter.

  • I used the service last week. Very basic reply telling me I had afib and I should see my GP (Like I did not know)

    Checks Heart Rate, AF, Ventroicular Ectopics, Atrial Ectopics.

    Not really worth the money.

  • I find all that very interesting but have to tell you that although I have one for my iphone 4, given at HRC last year, using it is a real pain for me. I don't know if my fingers conduct badly, maybe working with metal all the time has made them so but I find terrible problems getting a reading. I have to use hand cream and try several times and often the first half of the trace looks like a magnitude 7 earthquake. before it settles down. Now I don't have AF but occasional ectopics so know when I am in NSR (99.9%) but could get quite paranoid if I didn't know better. There is also within the new updated software package a section of sample traces showing all the usual arrhythmias so you could compare yours and make you own judgement if you are confident in the trace you have taken. It is a useful tool, for some people but I worry that patients of a nervous disposition could become obsessed and worried using it.

    I must also point out that there is another UK company who have produced a different machine using different hard and software which they provide on lease to GPs and other medics. It is tablet sized and produces a trace when the hands are placed on two pads. The makers feel that it is not suitable for patients whilst being a fast and effective way to take an ecg. Obvious caveat no connection with either company.

    Bob

  • Hi Bob,

    I have the same problem as you when using my hands for the AliveCor. I reckon my hand skin resistance is too high for the device to work correctly. I used to flick live connection with my fingers to check if they were live, knowing that I would just feel a slight tingle if they were. (the daft things I did as an electronics engineer). I have to use the AliveCor on my chest to get a proper reading and then it works really well, showing up my AF, Heart Block and my usual 3 or 4 ectopics a minute. It is certainly a bit easier to use than the ecg monitor I built a few years back.

    It's interesting to use but doesn't tell me anything I don't already know.

    Regards

    Walter.

  • Thanks everyone for your input to my original question. I am still undecided.....can someone tell me if 'what I call...' (quoting Miranda's mum) ectopics, are what farmerwalt called 'ventricular ectopics'? I'm fascinated by this subject at the moment as I have so many of them all the time. Without changing my lifestyle in any degree.

    I was shocked that the alivecor app cost so much! I haven't noticed that the new package shows all usual arrhythmias, but will look immediately.

  • Hi again Jan,

    Yes, the ventricular ectopics are normally just called ectopics. Other cardios call them "premature ventricular contractions" or PVC's, which probably better describes what they are. I.e. its the ventricles contracting before they receive the signal from the atria via the atria-ventricular node to contract. When taking your pulse by the old fashioned method of finger on wrist, then it appears as a missed beat. When checking on the AliveCor trace then it appears as an inverted pulse.

    There's a bit more technical jargon about it but won't go into that now.

    Hope that helps.

    Walter.

  • I have been using the AliveCor since it first came out and have a massed a lot of data. I tried the ECG analysis option and it came back saying rhythm was abnormal but unknown. I checked this with the cardiologist who said that the strip had a mixture of AF, ectopic sand ventricular activity. So I can see why it didn't fit easily into its database results. They good things is that the more people use the device and it's app the better the results will be. It's an artificial intelligence database so it learns from everyone.

    I originally got the iphone4 version and recently got the iphone5 as the iphone4 had seen its day. It's so annoying that the device is not transferable.

  • Really, I didn't know that, I wonder why as they both run IOS6. Think that has convinced me to hang on to my old hat of an Iphone4, thanks Loquitir.

  • I have one and use it but have not taken up they're offer of analysis yet. My ep looked at my printouts at my 3month post ablation consultation and was impressed as could see where I had odd arrhythmias and an AF episode.

    I too would be interested to hear if anyone on here has used this service yet.

  • The phones are different sizes. The technology is the same.

    There must be a separate device for for the iphone 5. At the moment I just use the old iphone 4 on wifi to perform the ECG.

    The new app education facility is good which teaches you about the different rhythms.

    EVERY school should have an alivecor and every pupil should have it done every year so that things can be picked much earlier.

    At such a low cost eventually a similar device should be manufacturable at unit cost of £20 or less so that every GP should have one just like blood pressure monitor. It's no brainier!

  • I thought I would do it when I have recorded at a time when I am feeling unwell- it is 8 dollars at present!

  • In fairness it's quite easy to compare each recording against the arrhythmia education tool and then email it to your doctor.

    You can download the app on your ipad and log on to to your account and see the results in large screen or via the web page on a computer monitor.

  • My £0.02p's worth on AliveCor: it's not great and certainly don't think it's worth the money. Mine came free from the AF Association and I showed some readings to my aviation medical examiner who said "it's ok but not great" and my consultant who is a Professor of Cardiology made the following comment:

    Thanks for sending along the ECG recording from the iPhone app. I am afraid they wouldn’t be useful for

    diagnostic purposes; I can say that the QRS is regularly spaced but it

    wouldn’t be possible to say anything more about the P waves for example

    and whether to say confidently whether or not you were in atrial

    fibrillation from this. There is a lot of what I would call “baseline

    wander”.

    I find the race to be extremely erratic and noisy at times even when I can tell from feeling my pulse that I am in nsr.

  • I haven't taken them up Jan, I know if I have AF and can see from the ECG. I do find the AliveCor App excellent for those days, when your not sure if your coming down with a bug or your AF is playing you up :-) . I just don't see the point in sending the reports off, but I have persistent AF anyway.. I make sure I use my monitor every day.

    Ms-J-W AliveCor is not just a 99p App, its a hardware based ECG monitor backed by medical professionals that attaches to your iphone and provides you with an ECG .. Not just an app you have to place your thumb over the camera and LED Light :-)

  • I have an alivecor ecg monitor and my cardiologist accepts readings from it. It is an excellent tool and all the tests we under go does not always capture the events that we have happen. I have sent off ecg readings for analysis as I know I have something wrong and want to find out sooner rather than later. It has helped me being diagnosed with a number of problems and currently waiting to go in for ablation therapy. It is not a 99p app at all for those who do not understand it is widely used by medics in USA and will soon here!

  • I'm a bit frustrated with my app at the moment. Apple has decided that my sign in password doesn't match my email, suddenly. I am in discussion with them....but what a hassle!

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