Pacemaker and Alivecor

I was quite excited to have ordered my Alivecor which came this morning but dismayed to read that it is not recommended for use by anyone with a pacemaker. After a lot of googling, I can't really come to a decision on whether to try it or just send it back. Has anyone any experience of using it when they have a pacemaker? I think the gist is that it might not show spikes - but it has in some trials. Any info appreciated.


13 Replies

  • Pacemakers work by pacing the left ventricle by sending an electrical signal to it. The Alivecor will sense those signals as part of the test. One would question why you wanted to test your heart if you have a pacemaker which is managing your heart rate. .

    My advice would be not to use it as it will only confuse you.


  • Thanks Bob. My Pacemaker manages my rate by making sure it's not below 60. However, it doesn't manage the rhythm, which is what I have a problem with.

  • But neither will the Alivecor manage the rhythm and, as Bob says, the readings will not be accurate anyway because of the Pacemaker.

  • Hi,- sorry I didn't make myself clearer - I don't expect the Alivecor to manage the rhythm, was just trying to explain why I wanted it - to see if I could capture what was happening with the rhythm. I have had a similar monitor (not 24 hour holter) from the hospital in the past, but unfortunately it didn't capture anything, so I guess I had a question in my mind why something such as the Alivecor wouldn't work when they seemed similar. Though the technology for the hospital monitor must have been more sophisticated. Thanks anyway.

  • A PM controls the ventricle whereas with AF the electrical chaos is in the atria so it is quite normal to still be able to feel it even when you have a pacemaker. Even after pace and ablate will this occur. Also the PM usually has a memory and can tell the doctors what is going on and how much it is working when they interrogate it.


  • Why don't you email the Alivecor people and ask them? Would hope they'd take it back if you haven't used it.

  • Thanks Kroll.

  • Hi Anneliz,

    I have an ICD, which is a pacemaker with an added kick to give my heart a shock if it should go into ventricle fibrillation. It paces if my rate should be too low or too high. I have an alivecor and it works alright for me. It is for an iphone 4/4s. You are welcome to borrow it for a couple of weeks to see if yours would be any good for you as I am not using it at present. If you send me a private message with your address I'll get it in the post to you.


  • Thanks so much Cyril. I'm not sure how to PM someone - could you give me a steer on how that works?


  • I've never PM'd anyone on this forum, but if you click on anyone's profile you will find a box under their 'picture' that says send message. I assume this is a means of having a one to one chat with them outside of the normal forum - but I may well be wrong! Give it a try.


  • Hi Anneliz

    I have had a pace and ablate but the alivecor still picks up the af and ectopics. Personally I found I reassuring at first that what I was feeling was actually happening. The others are right though if you go to the pacing clinic it should show what your heart is up to, providing it has been set to do so. At one point mine seemed to pick up znything over 120' but I used to be in AF at 100 and it didn't pick this up. You can always ring the pacing unit and get them to advise you.


  • All i have to add all is since i had my PM THREE WEEKS NOW.: they doubled my Bisop to 5m. and it seems to have stopped my AF.

  • I sent for a Kardia, read the small print and phoned supplier. They checked not suitable with already fitted pacemaker to raise ventricular beat, and said to send it back for refund.

    Disappointed, as I wanted to know how often and when I am in AF as my symptoms are very debilitating breathlessness, light headedness and general fatigue, no awareness of beats. I just feel very strange and find progressive inability to move around, let alone go for a walk.

    Pacemaker technicians at routine test times never agree to my request for a copy printout and simply say I still have AF with no other information. I don't think my GP gets a copy either.

    I'm wondering whether I'll have to go to private EP as only cardiologist on offer through NHS here. I am loth to because of possible heavy oncosts for investigations.


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