Love my Kardia but 100% are "Unclassified".... - AF Association

AF Association
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Love my Kardia but 100% are "Unclassified". Is it any use to me?

Hidden
Hidden

My cardiologist suggested i get a Kardia so i bought the Kardia mobile. Everything comes back as "Unclassified" except when i make a mistake and i get "Normal". "Normal" usually means my thumbs were touching or because my wet arms were resting on my wet desk (Today).

Is this any use at all to me? If all i get is "Unclassified", then can it even detect aFib in my case. I suspect it is my LBB that causes it.

I asked Kardia and they suggested i send the "Unclassified"s to my Cardiologist but He really wont want 30 per month. They then suggested i simply turn the message off.

Any suggestions or experiences before i give it to a friend.

27 Replies
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By design, the Kardia only assesses a trace as normal, AF and everything else. It doesn't claim to be 100% accurate so AF is categorised as "Possible AF" and everything else is categorised as "Unclassified". If your traces are categorised as "Unclassified" the trace needs a smarter analysis of what is abnormal than the built-in software algorithms is capable of. You can analyse the trace yourself using the Arrhythmia Library in the Heart Education section of the app. Why did your cardiologist recommend that you get a Kardia?

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to IanMK

Thank you, you certainly know more than me. my Cardiologist recommended it for the aFib function in particular. He never told me i had aFib and i recovered well enough to only see him once a year but he wanted it so i am trying.

Do i need to be "Normal" for it to be effective at spotting my aFib or as i am already too "abnormal" will it struggle ?

I will go look at the education section as that would be good too have.

Thanks

IanMK
IanMK
in reply to Hidden

My traces are usually categorised as "Possible AF" but my EP has diagnosed something different. I have several sources of "rogue signals" so, not surprisingly, I have quite an unusual ECG trace. I'm sure I can't be unique.

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to IanMK

The education section was a good read. I learnt a lot so thanks. We are all unique, i think. I will have a chat with my cardiologist.

IanMK
IanMK
in reply to Hidden

Just as a further illustration, my trace was categorised as normal this morning. Whereas each beat in isolation appeared normal, they came in distinct pairs. The rate was recorded as 103bpm. My Fitbit indicated 52.

I suspect that the tests applied by the Kardia software are quite basic. Personally, I don’t believe this detracts from its usefulness; one just needs to be aware of its limits.

It seems a bit surprising that your cardiologist has not arranged for you to have a conventional ECG. I assume you have paroxysmal AF and he is hoping that you will be able to monitor an episode as and when one occurs. If you are getting a significant number of “unclassified” reports then perhaps you should ask if you can have another ECG and immediately follow it with your Kardia. Maybe easier said than done, but not sure what else to suggest......

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to FlapJack

Hi FlapJack,

I am not sure i have AF. I asked him what was the best thing i should get, expecting to be told a medical alert band with my LBBB described. He said a kardia so i got one. Deep down, i wanted a traffic light result but i did not get one.

Your suggestion of the official ECG and my Kardia before and after is great. I am lucky where i live. I can get these quite easily and he does them himself. Sure he would let me do mine and help me compare. It would give me real confidence. If i learn anything then i will post it here.

Thanks

FlapJack
FlapJack
in reply to Hidden

Why not try a simple pulse check?

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to FlapJack

Hi,

I made a little progress and i can get "Normal" Readings with a little care.

- I put my phone in "Flight Mode".

- I take my ECG in a room with no electrical devices.

- i extended the ECG period to 1 minute

- I learnt how to place my fingers for a "Great" Signal for the whole time.

Flapjack, My manual pulse reading is a steady 78 and that was a really good suggestion too.

Gertsen
Gertsen
in reply to Hidden

My GP said she bought a Kardia for when she does house visits but it is difficult to get a correct reading as lots of her patients are elderly and their hands shake. So I learnt to sit very still when I do mine.

Just as an aside, the Kardia can suffer from interferance, especially that from nearby mobile phones. (Have you heard that pulsing buzz they can make on audio equipment nearby?) To ensure a 'clean' recording, set your phone to 'airplane mode' (sic) and sit very still with your arms at rest on some support, like a table. Make sure your fingers make good contact, I usually lick mine first! I have had 'unclassified' due to trying to hold the Kardia above my head while lying down, and also from my wife's phone being too close during a recording.

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to momist

Thank you. Your experience is exactly what i am finding. I love it to bits and it is also going to get better functions as time progresses. Thanks to everyone who helped me through this thread, I also got the confidence with it. It does not replace my medical care but it really compliments it.

Take Care.

Rebma
Rebma
in reply to momist

I recently got a kardia. How many fingers do you place on it and what amount of pressure? I put my cell next to it and hit record. I get unclassified sometimes and said redue can’t read. Please advise. Thank you

momist
momist
in reply to Rebma

Rebma The instructions on their web site are good, they recommend two fingers on each pad. I was sometimes straining to get the pressure up to get a good clear signal, then I discovered that it needs two things. Wet clean, or at least not dry, fingers, and a quiet environment both electrically and audibly. As I mentioned, I lick my fingers, but actually a bit of sweat is probably better, as it improves the conductivity. Grease can reduce it. Communication with the phone is through ultrasound, picked up by the microphone. Others have suggested that high end phones with noise cancelling mic's have trouble with the Kardia, I've never experienced that. The App tells you if you have a good signal.

The AliveCor website is worth exploring when you have the time. There are other ways of using the Kardia (e.g. between one hand and one leg) to get different traces from your heart, similar to the other leads in a twelve lead ECG machine. There is also a section of how to read and interpret the recordings, with examples. All good stuff and better than just relying on the algorithm of the App to detect AF.

Rebma
Rebma
in reply to momist

Thank you. How much pressure do you place on kardia? Is it a light pressure or do you press with two fingers firmly? Do you pay the extra fee for the history recordings? It says I have seven days left. I place it on a desk with my phone next to it but I don’t speak. It asks how are you feeling? Should the mic be on. I went on web site. It can’t find all the instructions it just shows ordering the watch etc. again thank you for help.

Rebma
Rebma
in reply to Rebma

One more question. Should invert be on or off. Mine says off. I called the 800 number but the gentleman told me they don’t monitor it and if it falls off to call them. That was all he could explain.

momist
momist
in reply to Rebma

Rebma Firm pressure, you need to flatten out the finger ends somewhat to get the connection.No, I never paid for the monthly deal, to me all that gives you is some cloud storage and maybe a better interface to view the recordings. I "email" my records into a folder in my Dropbox account, and they are then available to me on any device I own. There was an update to the App some months ago, and auto invert appeared, so I've never bothered with that. If your tracings are upside down, then simply turn your phone over or else slide the Kardia out of it's holder and reinsert it the other way around. I've moved my Kardia holder to another phone case without problems, using sticky pads.

Rebma
Rebma
in reply to momist

You are great. I am not the best with technology. My signal says great or good signal sometimes but I am not pressing firmly. I will try again. If doing incorrectly does it tell you. You would be a great instructor. Yiu should give lessons. No one I know has a kardia. Do you get afib readings on yours and what do you do if you get an afib reading?

momist
momist
in reply to Rebma

Everyone is different. What I do when I go into AF is really not relevant to anyone else, as their case will be different. Some people are very afraid or anxious when it comes on, others not so much. Some have debilitating symptoms, some hardly know there's a problem. Some have frighteningly high heart rates, others just a little raised from normal.

If you are distressed or in pain, then go to the A&E or call an ambulance. I just try to stay calm and if it comes to bed time, I go to bed and try to sleep. So far, I've always reverted to NSR during the small hours of the morning. One day, I won't, so then I'll re-evaluate. I'm on a waiting list for ablation.

There is tons of information to be gleaned from the various posts on this brilliant forum, just keep reading until you think you have the hang of it. Use the search box (top right) to find what you are looking for.

I sent my readings to a cardiac nurse. I used the Kardia every time I thought my heart rate was up. Turned out that I do not have afib after all. I feel so much better no meds and not worrying about it any more. If Kardia doesn't find a problem then go back to your EP and see what he thinks.

Can you show one of your recordings please?

Do you mean Left bundle branch block (LBBB) . That's probably causing undetermined reading. Had ablation 2 weeks ago and back to normal (!) after year of A-fib. My Kardia is pretty consistent with readings (undetermined every once in a while). Keep the Kardia.

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to carl_d

Yes, left branch bundle block. I do like the kardia and with the comments here it is now quite useful. I will keep it but not sure if i pay for the professional service after the trial.

Nugger
Nugger
in reply to carl_d

Was that paroxysmal or permanent af

carl_d
carl_d
in reply to Nugger

It was permanent ... severe fatigue and shortness of breath - thanks.

Love my Kardia...but comes with limited instructions regarding the unlimited classification. I had it for several weeks, when first ablation failed and it boiled down to a pulse being over 100, not the return of AF.

I get a few unclassified and stupid "unreadable" things that tell me I am not sitting still when I am! But there are ectopic type things that come up as unclassified and that an EP will know and bigiminy or something like that which can also be helped with a flecainide PIP which I take and nothing else as I hate taking drugs which usually don't agree with me. You just use two fingers of each hand and it doesn't seem a good idea to use it in a wet situation. This morning mine said I was in "possible AF" when my pulse was normal and when I used it again to check, it agreed with me! so, I too, am losing confidence in the Kardia. I asked the cardiologist if he would like me to pass on the readings to him but he never replied! Good Luck!

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