Too much Alivecor

I have thought long and hard before posting this as it will probably cause offence in some quarters. I don't have an Alivecor. I would need to update either my iPad or my mobile phone to get it and I am not sure that I want one in any case.

One of the caveats of this forum is that we don't get into diagnosis as we are not medically qualified. So why are people posting pictures of their readings for other people to comment on? As I understand it, the readings have to be emailed somewhere, at a fee, for someone expert to diagnose.

Sorry, but I don't find this fascinating. It is rather like looking at someone else's holiday snaps or people comparing their operation scars. Yes, I can ignore posts that don't interest me. But these postings are becoming too prevalent and contribute nothing to the discussion.

Not wanting to be a censor and others will feel differently, just my own opinion.

25 Replies

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  • This is a novelty right now as people have recently discovered how to post a photo.

    However, I for one am interested in seeing other peoples recordings and do not come on here with a purely selfish outlook.

    Unless I'm mistaken, I've not seen any diagnosis either, other than Dr Dave's.

    Pat

  • I think one of the problems is that you can't post images on this forum except in the initial post, so you have to do multiple threads to have a discussion that involves images, instead of one thread with images in posts.

    It would be great if you could post images in individual posts, then there could be just one discussion on ECG's or whatever. It is very unusual not to be able to do this, in fact I can't think of another forum where you can't post images for the simple reason that a picture is worth a thousand words.

    So come on Health Unlocked, take this on board :-)

    Koll

    PS. Personally, I find the different ECG's very interesting and I've learned something.

  • I agree Koll!

    Pat

  • Your post is not offensive in any way and of course you are entitled to your opinion and would always defend your right to say it.

    I think there is a danger of falling into the trap of wanting to comment on other people's traces when of course we don't always know all of the circumstances and are not trained to interpret and I think that point is well made usually by Bob.

    I am ambivalent as I think there can be some value in seeing that other people also have strange looking traces, which are often because they are holding it incorrectly, or there is interference or just to be told, yes you need to see someone who can interpret this trace if they need that reassurance. Many don't want to 'bother' people in real life.

    I do have an AliveCor and it works with any smart phone or IPad, no need to upgrade your phone, as long as it a smart phone. I have one of the original ones from 2013 and works with latest versions of software.

    Whilst it may not be for everyone, I would hate anyone to be put off from posting, even their ECG trace from any source, if it helps them feel supported.

  • Hi there,

    I do enjoy reading your comments and admire your straight talking...

    This Alive cor is just the latest topic/fad at the moment and it will soon move on to something new....A couple of years ago it was the OMRON M10-11 that was in vogue...

    Stick with us there it there is always plenty of other interesting "stuff"to read...

    Hope you are keeping well,

    Carol.

  • Like your comment, Carol.

    David

  • I can see how folk are reassured by these but personally am never going to get one. I have a (slightly !) O.T.T. personality and would be using it all the time and obsessing over the traces so I'm going to spare you all the agony of having to constantly reply to my trace questions as I suspect they would come thick and fast! I have no objection to seeing those of others though. I remember that one of my e.c.g. readings looked to my G.P. like I had sudden death syndrome when my E.P. saw it he laughed and said that A.F. coupled with a degree of heart block and bundle branch block ( which I have ) can make it look like that to an expert eye. X

  • Dedeotte.

    You and me both...cx

  • You both...and me too! D

  • Haha that's three of us then.

    Carol.

  • Not quite Alivecor, but this may help some to interpret their own ECG's. It's very basic but is easy to understand. Cyril. geekymedics.com/2011/02/28/...

  • To reply to some of the points above:

    Koll is right about the way things unfortunately have to be posted. As much as anything else, it's the in-your-face visual thing that I find annoying and other people seem to like (yes, I am a dinosaur). If we posted lists of blood pressure readings, I doubt those posts would get much attention.

    My phone has a tiny screen that I think would display information poorly. It is a PAYG. I love my iPad but itnis an early version and not supported.

    As I have not been trained to read an ECG, like most people on here I suspect, I am not qualified to judge whether a reading is normal. Asking someone unqualified to comment is akin to asking for a diagnosis. Deodottie's example is a good reminder about how information can be misinterpreted.

    Please don't label things as interesting. That's for other people to take a view about.

    I hope it is a passing fad.

  • I thought I had posted a reply before going for my blood test but must have forgotten to send it! (INR2.5 as usual. Eat your hearts out)

    I agree wholeheartedly with the original post and have already made similar comments on one or two other posts. This forum is a great place for sharing experiences and getting support and encouragment but should never replace the relationship with your doctor which MUST be the first port of call. Asking other members for advice on drugs, supplements or diagnosis is not a good idea and should be actively discouraged. It is not what we are here for.

    Bob

  • Thanks, Mrspat, for raising this. Leaving aside any comments on the topic, it's really nice to see a lively discussion with 9 responses expressing differing views within the space of an hour.

  • I am not offended in any way. I have a good idea when I am in jazz mode and have seen to many of my own hospital traces to see issues. But on the other side of the coin I do like to look at other peoples ;)

    Koll you are so right that having the ability to post a picture to add to a post would be a great idea!

  • I am new here and feel the exact opposite... I was hoping MORE people would post their Alivecor tracings so that I could see what other everyday average tracings look like. I have not posted any of mine yet, but I had a morning where my rhythm was crazy for over 6 hours. It felt a lot like the pressure from frequent PVCs and the tracings were on and off erratic. The doc said that it was only artifact because otherwise it was a deadly rhythm. Obviously i am not dead, but I KNOW I wasnt moving. When the pressure stopped, so did the abnormal rhythm. I was more anxious than usual because I was preparing for a medical procedure, so I thought that maybe electrical impulses from my nerves might have been transmitted to cause this. So I REALLY need to find out whether this has ever happened to anyone else because they don't tell you much when you send your tracing in to Alivecor for analysis... so all we have is each other. Maybe if they begin a new forum for JUST Alivecor tracings, yjat would be great!!!

  • Pat. Personally I would not just accept your doctors view because he is a GP and not a heart rhythm specialist. I would insist that he refers you to an electrophysiologist as they deal with the "electrics" of the heart and hence specialise in rhythms. As Bob has said many times this is your right.

    If you do decide to do this I would definitely do research before you see the GP by looking at the main AFA website and seeing who are the electrophysiologists I your area or an area that it is convenient to travel to and then look at their profiles and experience. If you can afford it you could always get a private appointment first (it will be less wait and a longer consultation time) and then transfer back into the NHS later on. Usually you will still need your GP to refer.

  • PS. You probably have done so already but, as you are new on here, can I suggest that it is very well worthwhile doing searches on this AFA forum for other people's experiences, getting referrals, symptoms, etc.

  • G'day Mrspat,

    About Alivecor. Yeah, I know what you mean. I just ignore them because I can't be bothered to learn how to read them. I do know Alivecor has been many years in development in US and has finally been approved by the US Feds so I guess it is sound. Probably wouldn't have any credibility here in UK unless approved by NICE. But I also think its horses for courses. In my case food is the predominant trigger but I am also one of those who can be in AF and not have any symptoms. The day (January 2010) I was admitted to hospital when my AF was diagnosed my big clue that something was wrong was the unbelievably erratic behaviour of my blood pressure. apart from that the only clue was that I felt as if I had a flu thingy coming on. No chest related feelings at all.

    Later once I'd identified food as the trigger and developed my own 'Black Art' based on various diets for eating sensibly I began to monitor more closely my BP. Although now I cannot recall my last AF event I do monitor more closely my BP. But bear in mind I do not always have symptoms. However careful I am with food there is always the odd occasion - more so when I'm dining out - when I eat something that disagrees. Apart from feeling crap within an hour of digesting the offending food, my BP rises, incredibly high and equally incredibly quickly and can take up to 4 days to return to normal. So for me this wacko jacko movement in my BP is always an alert !

    So for me my management tool of choice is the newly NICE approved - Microlife WatchBP Home A - blood pressure monitor which gives readings for blood pressure AND detects AF. (Important for me when I don't have any symptoms).

    However, no way would I share my readings on here because unless the reader had exactly the same AF issues I had/or have, unless they followed my diet 'Dark Art', were on exactly the same medication as I'm on and living exactly my lifestyle I cannot see how it would be relevant.

    Apologies for the late response but I don't get on here now as often because of work commitments taking up too much of my time.

    Cheers,

    John

  • Microlife monitor approval is not so new because I bought mine last autumn and it was approved then. I was then and am now in persistent AF. Only in NSR for 71 hours post ablation.

    Not wishing to be contrary Aussie John but the Microlife AFib monitor is not always reliable. This is because of the algorithm and assessment process that it uses. Their technical information and their instruction booklet are references. The WatchBP Home measures the BP over three durations (of approx 40 secs) with a gap in-between each. For it to register you are in AF it has to detect AF fully on ALL three measurements. This means that if the pulse is not strong enough or is not varied enough it can register one set of readings as NOT in AF and hence the whole reading not in AF. It has done this to me on a few occasions and I am in persistent AF. For instance my GP and my EP would not accept I was in AF from the Microlife.

    However the AliveCor is specifically for heartbeats (pulses) and arrhythmia and as you say approved in the US. I am sure that the algorithms are much more sophisticated. With the AliveCor you don't need to do any readings or assessments because it tells you on the screen at the end of the reading whether in suspected AF or normal or other conditions. It may not be approved by NICE yet but it does have acceptance and "approval" by many UK consultants and other medics.

    When I told my EP on the morning after my ablation (on the NHS) that I had bought an AliveCor he said "Great". Also (not exact words) you can send me the AliveCor results (printouts) if there are any issues and I can look at them and that will save you having a full ECG and an appointment. Neither he nor I expected that I would be back in AF in less than 72 hours but when I did send him the "Normal" results from the morning and the "AF" results from late afternoon he did act on them (and did a referral to a heart valve specialist consultant - already a known problem but not on the "path" previously). Brought forward appointment to 4 weeks after first ablation and put me down on the waiting list for the second. I also had to go to the GP's (mine was on holiday) because of elevated heartbeat and they accepted AliveCor printouts even though they could have done an ECG at the surgery there and then. The AliveCor results can be emailed straight from your phone as well as printed out from a pdf.

    Sorry for the length!!!

  • Hi Peter,

    Yes, its as I said its all horses for courses. Many AF ers have significantly more AF/cardiac issues than I have and so having alivecor would be useful , maybe even vital. I do not have those issues, my AF comes from digestive issues not heart mechanical or valvular issues The rub for me is being in AF and not knowing it alongside the behaviour of blood pressure in response to a dysfunctional vagal nerve/digestive system. If you don't have the link between food/ digestion/blood pressure and AF then there are plenty of choices out there. Yes, I know what you mean about the way Microlife works - and that is the issue, eating something which triggers my blood pressure as I described and tips me into AF. And actually, neither Alivecor nor Microlife may capture that moment - .mainly because - for now at least my existing diet seems to do the job - unless I go and misbehave. Food is the only problem - coffee, tea and alcohol do not impact at all. I just wish I could fix problems with my right side sacri-iliac joint as easily as I have my AF :-)

    John

  • Thanks for the tip about the Microlife WatchBP John. I think I will need to replace my Omron BP monitor shortly. This product could be an option though the AFIB version seems a bit expensive.

  • Not sure what the current price is but I think I paid £80 something on the internet last November You can find sites that can supply it VAT free if you have a medical condition (I did). Sometimes the price includes VAT and then it is deducted at the checkout. At the time I saved over £70 by searching. If you are in AF then most of the other monitors are not that much use, particularly the wrist monitors. My EP said minimum is to only use a cuff monitor approved by the British Hypertension Society and gave some guidance. As the Microlife is the only one (at that time certainly) that was approved by NICE for AFib I suspect that he did not want to mention it by name because of a consultant endorsing a specific product.

  • I would only consider getting any gadget if my cardiologist so advised. She does find my blood pressure and Pulse Oximeter readings helpful. We are not qualified/trained to read ECGs and as Aussie John pointed out, comparisons aren't useful as we are all different.

  • Thank you for the advice, PeterWh!

    Pat

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