Can I use a Kardia?: Having seen a number of... - AF Association

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Can I use a Kardia?


Having seen a number of references to Kardia I looked at the website and found that they are not recommended for someone with a Pacemaker. As my readings with a cuff fluctuate wildly when in AF it would be interesting to get the Kardia results....Does anyone know why its a nono?

12 Replies

You may find this old thread useful

Depends upon the PM. It works with my husband's with no problem but because of the way I am paced - AF or any other SVT will not read on an ECG.

I have a pacemaker that was implanted in November 2015 a few days after open heart surgery to replace the aortic valve. My Afib didn't begin until early 2017 after having a few other heart procedures during the year 2016. My Afib is asymptomatic. I have a Fitbit Versa which shows my heart rate but doesn't tell me if I am having an Afib episode. My cardiologist said that the only reliable Afib reading is from a Kardia by Alivecor. He wrote the name for me, so he was aware that I wanted to purchase such a thing. When I had my first appointment with an EP a few months ago he asked why I needed the Fitbit when the pacemaker could be read to see all the Afib episodes that had occurred. Well, the cardiologist and the EP can get a reading from my pacemaker, but that doesn't help me to know when and for how many hours, etc., I've had or am having Afib.

I got the Kardia mobile. When I see the heart rate on the Fitbit Versa jumping around, i.e., 87, 96, 74, 99, 108, 84, etc., I am aware that I'm probably in Afib. I do a reading with the Kardia mobile (in conjunction with my smart phone) and usually my diagnosis is confirmed. My cardiologist had told me that Afib gets worse over time and that when an Afib episode would last for hours my heart would be tired and then I would also be tired. On March 15 my Kardia confirmed that I had an Afib episode that started in the afternoon. From intermittent readings by my Kardia I knew I was still in Afib late the next day. I was extremely fatigued and if I hadn't taken Kardia readings I would not have known why. So I'm glad I have the Kardia mobile (for me it was a hundred dollars well spent), and I have a pacemaker and a bioprosthetic aortic valve, and my cardiologist knew I was going to purchase the Kardia. I looked at the AliveCor website and see that they don't recommend the use of the Kardia for anyone with a pacemaker because "we cannot guarantee the accuracy," so perhaps the accuracy is the concern and not that it could be harmful.

I'm also in my third year of taking the anticoagulants Xarelto or Eliquis with no side effects from either one. I'm in the USA and have switched from one to the other depending on which is lower priced with my drug plan. I also take Metoprolol.

HiloHairy in reply to greencrop

I'm also a Fitbit Versa owner. Please be aware that the versa is highly inaccurate when the user is active. If you do a search on Fitbit's own forum you will see many many complaints about this. You can get it to be fairly close to accurate when you're active by wearing it very high above your wrist.

Aus19 in reply to greencrop

Thanks for such a comprehensive and informative summary. I have just ordered a Kardia, so your post is very helpful to me.

greencrop in reply to Aus19

You do need to look at the Alivecor website and check for which smart phone is compatible with the Kardia mobile.

With regard to heart rate accuracy, I have a pulse oximeter, which also gives heart rate, and I've never seen a difference of more than 3 digits between the Fitbit Versa and the pulse oximeter. That measurement is when I'm sitting in my reclining chair and relaxing. I don't carry the pulse oximeter with me when I'm active.

Thanks to everyone for your comments

My pacemaker is set at 60bpm so I always walk up a couple of flights of stairs to get my heart rate above this when I use my Kardia so I am not paced at time of reading. I have found the Kardia very accurate and useful

You are correct in supposing that the Kardia is not compatible with a pacemaker- this is in the accompanying instructions for use. It may be that there are other similar devices which are useable - probably its a matter of emailing the various manufacturers.

greencrop in reply to Samazeuilh

I just checked all the info that came with my Kardia mobile and I cannot find anything with regard to it not being compatible with a pacemaker. The only thing I find on the Alivecor website is that they cannot guarantee the accuracy of the Kardia mobile with a pacemaker. The Kardia mobile is extremely helpful for me in confirming atrial fibrillation that I think I'm seeing in the Fitbit Versa. As I'm taking the 30 second reading in the Kardia mobile I see the heart rate reading jumping wildly from one number to another, just the same as I had seen the reading in my Fitbit and the Fitbit reading in the smart phone app.

Samazeuilh in reply to greencrop

Yes, the Kardia FAQ says: “The Kardia Mobile has not been tested for accuracy with paced-EKG recordings. We do not recommend use of the Kardia Mobile for patients with pacemakers because we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the resulting EKG recordings. However, please consult with your physician for more information on using Kardia Mobile with your pacemaker. “

My original wording was rather careless. The above makes clear that the reliability of the Kardia cannot be guaranteed with a pacemaker however.

I’ve had a pacemaker for seven years and have used the Kardia in that time with accurate results.

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