What Is The AliveCor Kardia Mobile Heart Monitor?
AliveCor Kardia Mobile is a heart monitor with accompanying smartphone application that has been approved by the FDA.
You can purchase it directly from AliveCor without a prescription from your doctor. The hardware itself is fairly small. It’s about half the size of a credit card and about a think as three credit cards.
How To Use The AliveCor Kardia Heart Monitor
It is fairly simple a straightforward to use the AliveCor Kardia Heart Monitor. All you have to do is open the app on your phone and then hit the “Record Now” button. Then you’ll need to put your fingers on the device so that it can start recording.
There are a few different ways that you can get a good reading. You can place the monitor on a table or other flat surface and then put your fingers on top of it, or you can simply hold it in your hands while doing so.
If you want to use it often, you can even place an attachment plate on your smartphone to mount the monitor. There are even special iPhone cases that you can buy from the AliveCor website.
Once you’ve placed your fingers on the recording device, the monitor will begin recording your EKG right on your phone. In only takes a few seconds for the signal to connect and start reading. The default recording option is to take a 30 second EKG, but you can also choose to record for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 minutes.
How To Tell If You Are Experiencing Atrial Fibrillation
Once the app has finished your recording, there is a filter built into the app that will determine whether or not you are experiencing Atrial Fibrillation. If your EKG is normal, you will receive a message indicating that it is.
If there is a possible fibrillation, then you will receive a message that reads “possible afib”. If you have any sort of arrhythmia that isn’t atrial fibrillation or if there were any sort of reading or processing errors, you may receive an unclassified alert.
Once you’ve successfully completed your EKG, you can save it to your journal and even add a note to it. If you need to share your results with your doctor or anyone else, you can send them via email.
What Does The AliveCor Kardia Heart Monitor Cost?
The AliveCor Kardia Heart Monitor can be purchased directly from the company for $99. After that, you can download and use the basic version of the smartphone app for free. If you want to get access to the premium version you can sign up for a 30-day free trial. After the 30 days is over, the cost is $9.99 a month.
The following features available with the premium subscription are not available with the basic version:
- Save & Record Reports Sent From Your Doctor
- Track Your Blood Pressure
- Track Your Weight & Any Medications You Are Taking
- Save Your Heart Health Data With Unlimited Storage Space
- View Your Heart Health History
Practical Uses Of The AliveCor Kardia Mobile Heart Monitor
Confirming Atrial Fibrillation
Those who experience atrial fibrillation are often very aware when they go into it and can often tell when they come back out.
However, it’s still important to have definitive confirmation, especially when deciding whether or not to take medications. In addition, some people are asymptomatic and need the confirmation of an EKG to even be aware of fibrillation.
After having heart surgery, such as ablation, the Kardia Heart Monitor can help you ensure that your recovery is safe. Taking daily or even weekly readings can help you to ensure that you do not have any episodes of fibrillation or arrhythmia following your surgery.
Downsides Of The AliveCor Kardia Mobile Heart Monitor
While this is an amazing invention that has many uses, there are also a few downsides.
It’s Too Sensitive
In order to get a clean reading, you have to have your fingers placed perfectly and remain perfectly still. Even the slightest of movement or the tiniest flinch over the course of a full minute can ruin your reading, so you may have to try 2 or 3 times to get a good clean reading.
The smartphone app uses a filter to determine whether your EKG readings are normal or show any kinds of irregularity. The “filter” used is actually an algorithm, and while these are often very complex and useful, they aren’t perfect.
Because of this, there are often times when the filter indicates a possible fibrillation or other unclassified error when your readings are actually normal. This can cause undue stress because of false readings.
If you’re unsure about the accuracy of your reading, you should try taking 3 readings back to back to ensure they match up.
Expensive ECG Analysis Service
The optional EKG analysis service is a bit pricier than is really reasonable, especially for those who are already paying $9 at once.
The Basic Version Has Limited Features
The free basic version of this app is barely functional. You can take readings but you can’t save them or do anything with them. It’s clear that the basic version only exists to entice people int the premium subscription.
No Continuous Monitoring
The Kardia Mobile Heart Monitor is a good device, but it can only monitor short events when you take the time to check. It would be much better if there was a way to continuously monitor your activity throughout the day and alert you when things go outside the normal range.
AliveCor Kardia Mobile Heart Monitor Review Summary
Every solution has its downsides, and the Kardia Heart Monitor is no exception. However, it is still a great FDA approved, non-prescription option for those who need to keep a close eye on possible atrial fibrillation.
If you are one of the many people who experience atrial fibrillation or other types of arrhythmia, then the Kardia Heart Monitor from AliveCor is definitely worth checking out.