Kardia /Alivecor

A question for those who have one. My husband doesn't agree with me getting one as he says it may make me focus on my heart's antics, but I'm already focused, it's very unsettled!! However, I am prepared to consider I'm imagining when my heart beats slowly, that it's fluttering, not beating properly. Will the Alivcor tell me that the beat is NSR, or does it just show abnormal things? Don't want to buy if it won't tell me what's normal. I know when I'm in AF, or feel ectopics, can't miss that!!

28 Replies

  • I have an ECG monitor (an Omron, not a Kardia) and like it very much. I rarely use it but always take it with me if I'm going anywhere. I find it is very reassuring, when AF strikes, to be able to see the graph and to have an idea of the number of beats to the minute. Details can be emailed to my EP or taken with me to consultations. It is a virtual diary of my AF.

    I imagine that, like mine, Kardia will record what is happening regardless of whether it is normal or not.

    I think it could be argued that every home should have one.

  • I use a Kardia and wouldn't be without it. It shows normal, unclassified and possible AF readings. With practice, you learn to recognise ectopics, normal sinus rhythm and AF yourself. Readings can be emailed to Kardia for analysis or printed out for your own physicians. Readings can be taken in steps from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

    Obsession with it is not something I worry about. I had elusive PAF which never showed up on tests and hospital monitors and my Kardia nailed it, allowing my EP to diagnose AF, AFlutter and 'just' ectopics from printouts. Now when my heart feels wobbly, I use it to confirm ectopics and feel confident that AF has not broken through.

    It's very reassuring to see the green tick with 'normal'! I'm glad I bought it to use with my iPad.

  • Thank you. Going ahead now.

  • When you learn to read the EKG it will show flutter and afib if present.

    Being one lead and not 12 it does have limitations but flutter and afib should be very clear if present.

  • It also shows 'pauses' which was very useful to me as I was able to demonstrate a series of pauses of several seconds to my GP and cardiologist. After my ablation my cardiologist offered me a 3 day monitor to check how my heart was beating but when I reminded him I had a Kardia he agreed I should record any extended wobbles myself with the offer of a monitor still standing. He even suggests patients should buy them!

  • Thanks folks. Mine is in its way. I may be back asking for help!!

  • i love having one. Just knowing I can capture any wobbles is reassuring. I was a bit obsessed with it when I first got it, but then I'm that way with any new tech tool. Showed some readings to my EP this week and he was impressed at how well it works. He even did a test reading himself. I was surprised that none of his other patients had one. My only problem with it is capturing very short events, by the time I grab my phone, unlock it and start the app, some short events are over.

  • I think I'll be the same, I have short bursts of something, but I can only try.

  • I have had Kardia/ alivecor monitors for about three years and recently bought the wrist option, very reassuring as I too get fluttering, bumps etc and it is nice t get the report"normal"!

    You do have to practice a bit with them as they are very sensitive but once you have got the hang of keeping very for a very short test still they are brilliant , and, if in doubt you can print up and show the ecg to your doctor or specialist and get an answer!

  • Alivecor asks me every morning to test myself. I find it reassuring to know everything is going well as I have a hole in my heart. Yet to be diagnosed but having migraine aura is a strong sign.

  • I have AliveCor and find it very useful. Yes it tells you when you are in NSR and also AF. A lot of readings come up "unclassified" if the reading is outside normal parameters which happens to me regularly as my resting heart rate is around 50. You have the option to have your results assessed by a cardiologist but this costs extra. I was advised by my cardiologist to get it but he has since retired and my new cardiologist doesn't seem interested in it.

  • I have one too integrated in my iPhone case. It goes wherever I go. I love taking recordings in front of my friends and complete strangers. It's fun to watch them flock to you asking questions and taking their own ECGs. But the best part is when I used to go with it to the emerg room and showed it off not only to the nurses but even doctors. Thy would all gather up around me like little kids asking bunch of questions and taking the turns to taking their own ecg and marvel at the new tech. Last year I was traveling in central London. My PAF happened during the trip so I went to their city hospital. They checked me in to make sure I don't have any adverse effects from the first dose of flecanide. But before that they tried to to take their usual 12 lead ecg. It just happened that all three machines they had malfunctioned. So here I'm pulled my Kardia and let the magic begin. Well, the reaction was the same. Needless to say I was there longer than I should have been but not for reason of my initial admission. By the way that hospital style egg sandwich was not so bad.

  • I find it very useful to have the Alivecor. Typical heart rate monitors don't measure the heart rate correctly when you are in Afib. The alivecor lets me know if I am starting to over-exert (lots of pvcs ) or if I have slipped into afib so I know to immediately stop (hiking of biking or whatever until my heart has calmed town). I have also recorded odd rhythms with my t-waves on occasion that I was able to send to my cardiologist. Very helpful to be able to figure out what is going on so you can actively manage your condition yourself.

  • It hadn't yet arrived so I'm really looking forward to testing it. Today would be good I'm having lots of activity. Be very good to know what's what.

  • I've been using Kardia for the past few years and like everyone else rate it highly. I would suggest you spend some time educating yourself on how to interpret an ECG readout. Doctor Google obviously has plenty but also take the reading with you on next trip to your doctor and ask them to walk you through the interpretation. Best of luck.

  • So I've received my kardia today. Not sure what I'm doing wrong but the only reading I'm getting is "unclassified".

    Also, while I'm here, what fees do people pay. This is something I didn't realise when I spent my £100.

  • Try it on your husband (if you've told him about it) and see what he gets. My other half's heartbeat is nothing like mine.

  • Thank you! Yes, his is normal. So it shows it's working. Mine is very different. If I knew how, I'd put a photo up.

  • There are a few reasons why you could get the unclassified reading -

    there could be a number of ectopic beats which make the reading not quite NSR but usually harmless.

    there could be sinus arrhythmia which is simply the changing heart beat as we breathe in and out - harmless.

    your heart rate could be very low, below 50 I think is the threshold.

    Your Kardia app has a section which explains the different rhythms and shows traces of ectopics etc.

    I'm not sure what fees you mean? If you send the trace off to Kardia it costs £5 but there should be no other costs.

    To show a trace on here, you need to start a new thread and drop your image into the photo space - you cannot add a photo in an existing thread.

    Let us know how you get on - it is worth working at it! I was confused at the start too and got great help here.

  • I'd get someone else to try it to see if they get a different reading? when I get unclassified it's usually because I have bradycardia, (below 50bpm) or have ectopics, PAC's or pauses. If you can get another adult to try it and they get a 'normal' reading then look at your readings to see if you can see anything other than AF. I find it easier to read on PDF format. You can forward it to Kardia for analysis, I think the cost is £5, or if you have an Arrhythmia or cardiac nurse you could email it them? good luck.

  • Yes my HR was 115 and could have been a bit erratic. I got a normal one later. Hubby has a very normal one! I also have left bundle branch block as well as afib and ectopics so that's why mine is so different.

  • Right, I wish I'd saved my money. It seems that the device won't give me anything other than 'unclassified' as I have LBBB.

    Be aware anybody thinking of spending hard earned £100 and you have other electrical issues with the heart as well as PAF.

  • Really sorry, given that we have encouraged you in this direction, that you now feel you have wasted your money. I don't have a Kardia but for me the very basic diagnosis my pocket ECG gadget provides is not the important thing. As I said, I like - having been able to catch something weird when it happens - to be able see the graph and be able to let my EP see a good example.

  • My fault, I should have researched more. At the very least I may have expected the company to clearly state if you have Left Bundle Branch Block, you won't get a good reading.

  • Will they take it back? On the other hand perhaps there's someone on the forum who is thinking about buying one.

  • PS - At least your other half's argument was that it would make you think too much about AF and not that it would be a bad buy!

  • It's not a bad buy but for me, a bad choice as it doesn't work. 😬

  • But we have all learnt something. Every cloud and all that...

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