I have been delaying buying a heart monitor system such as an AliveCor or Kardia as I think they are now sold. I was in Persistent AF for nine months prior to an unsuccessful CV this week and that hasn't changed. My question is, is it worth purchasing one of these units if it's only going to tell me what I already know, or is there some other useful information that I can get from it. Would love to hear from users the pros and cons of them. Thanks.

15 Replies

  • The big advantage surely is that you have the ability to take a reading at once when you are aware that something is happening that is not usual. You can then show the evidence to a doctor long after whatever it was has stopped. It's so much better than trying to describe a sensation and may give the trained eye a lot of useful information. It doesn't have to be your own heart either that it may benefit.

    It is sometimes claimed that owning a gadget encourages one to be obsessed, taking readings far too often. I don't use mine much but when I do, it usually reassures me as I can either look along the heartbeats and see how much regularity there is along with the weirdness or take a second reading and see how much improvement there has been.

  • I have been in persistent AF for at least 22 months bar 4 days in NSR during that time. I have owned the AliveCor for 17 months and found it extremely useful and results have been used to adjust medication and I am on a lower dose of Bisoprolol as a result. I log on paper the HR am and pm. My EP and cardiologist have been able to see that HR varies. I also star event recordings so that irbid easy to look at those.

    I certainly find that although in persistent AF it can vary and I have had incidents two of which required ambulance to A&E.

    I definitely wouldn't be without it.

  • Depends on the person - some people find they obsess or worry and owning one stresses them out - if you have a tendency toward worry, it may not be useful for you. Rellim makes some excellent points - I found it invaluable as I had paroxysmal AF - mine was successfully treated but I am now using it as I am having a treatment and my EP wants me to continue recording daily for his information because he has never had someone undergo this type of treatment before,

    I also think it could have benefitted my husband as he said a couple of times he felt 'funny'. I encouraged him to take an ecg and go see his GP - 6 weeks later he was having a pacemaker fitted for sick sinus syndrome. I really don't think it would have been picked up otherwise as he tends to avoid GPs and believes he will 'all right' - although he is good at monitoring his own health.

    The summary is do you think it would benefit you or alarm you? Many of us who own and use Alivecor do get to understand some of the patterns but this is not a substitute for a doctor's diagnosis. My GP and my EP have all found my monitoring most informative and encourage me to use it but some doctors I believe are quite dismissive of it so your decision may also be influenced by your GP's attitude toward self monitoring,

    Hope some of the above has been helpful. Let us know what you decide and what you think.

  • Hi Gazza. I developed atrial flutter after an ablation for AF and as I travel for work, it was difficult (and expensive) to arrange ECG's to forward on to my EP. I bought an AliveCor Kardia two weeks ago and it has been very useful for me. It doesn't record flutter very well but I now have records of when I am in 'regular' AF, NSR and the chaotic readings of when I am in flutter. I am also seeing patterns emerging due to the ease of adding my own notes to the EKG's it stores on my iPhone.

  • Do you use it at certain times of day or when you feel an event ?

  • I now do one resting (using the new feature). I do one approx 8.30 am and again approx 8.00pm to get a consistent pattern. Unfortunately I am not the best at being regular on timings nor remembering every day to do it. Probably stems from EP saying he is happy with 4 times a week provoiding both morning and evening on same day.

    However as I am in persistent AF and it is quite variable so I have set recording time to 2 mins to get a better accuracy. Also for the last 2 months I have been recording the range over the reading which can be say 50 to 100 with average 80. Has been as low as 33 and as high as 160 just sitting there. Range has thrown up some interesting events.

    I do ad hoc readings when I feel bad, etc.

  • Why a morning and evening on the same day?

  • He was wire emphatic about that so he can see what is happening during the day. That's a bit negated now because I now have to have a sleep nearly every day mid to late afternoon and that's for anything from 2 to 3 hours.

    I also forgot to say that I make sure I have been sitting down diubg nothing for 10 mins so comparisons are more applicable.

  • I generally use it a couple of times in the evening, sometimes in the morning if I am not up early for work. I am usually always experiencing an event. NSR is actually an event for me, so nice to confirm my suspicions when my heart suddenly decides to beat normally for a change.

  • I just ordered one. My hope is that it will provide valuable input to tweaking of meds. Dr just told me to change timing of second metaprolol based on my report of being more tired evenings. But is that due to greater Afib in evenings? That's what I hope the device will help determine.

  • I would say yes get one if you are going in AF that often. It then means you can provide a clear read out to your doctor so they can help you further. The most frustrating thing for me is when I get AF it only lasts an hour even though its very scary for that hour. When they eventually gave me AliveCor on NHS nothing happened, they cannot diagnose me until they get a clear reading showing. So I have never really been able to successfully get the help I need as never able to prove it or show them evidence. If you get one you can show clearly what you are going through and they will have to take you serious and give you the help you should be getting.

  • Sometimes it shows Afib but cardiologist looks at trace and says it's not. You can see early beats that feel like yout heart is rumbling but reports normal. Yes I think this worth the $98. It gives the EP more info on your condition.

  • If you are in persistent AF an AliveCor is the best way of getting your true heart beat.

  • I would like to thank everybody for their input. After reading them I think its worth the $200 investment.

  • it gives you peace of mind when you are feeling awful. and then you can go about your day without so much worrying, i LOVE mine because then i can track my ups and downs and try to recognize a pattern of bad days and good. and on another side note, i just returned from a week vacation. we spent 2 days in the higher elevations of colorado and i suffered from altitude sickness. i have been there many times before but this was the first time this happened. i felt as if i was dying. and did not put two and two together until i got to lower elevations. has anyone else ever had this before? it seems heart related. since the last time i went i was perfectly fine. this week will be my 1st anniversary of new heart issues and hospitalization last year. just curious?

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