This was a question I asked myself a while back. At the time I was undecided about whether I should use the Kardia Mobile Device or not. Here is what I did.
My Cardiologist Recommended it to me
I have a heart condition and my cardiologist recommended it to me. So I was likely to use it after doing my research. I did not have a smartphone. After doing my research, I purchased online a smartphone and a Kardia Mobile Device from different sellers. Once I had both, I was ready.
The Kardia Mobile Device and FDA Clearance
The Kardia Mobile Device with its partner App is FDA-cleared to detect the 3 most common heart arrhythmias. These are atrial fibrillation (afib or af), bradycardia & tachycardia. It is also FDA-cleared to detect a normal heart rhythm. It is FDA-cleared to detect these since April 23, 2019.
The Kardia Mobile Device with its partner App was FDA-cleared to detect atrial fibrillation (afib or af), a very common heart arrhythmia as well as normal heart rhythm since August 21, 2014.
Worded Another Way
AliveCor, the company behind the Kardia Mobile Device have been getting FDA clearance for years in this field:
- The Kardia Mobile Device with its partner Kardia App has been FDA cleared to detect atrial fibrillation as well as normal rhythm since August 21, 2014.
- The Kardia Mobile Device with its partner Kardia App is the only personal EKG device that is cleared by the FDA to detect atrial fibrillation or bradycardia or tachycardia or if the rhythm is normal since April 23, 2019.
The Kardia Mobile Device with its Partner App is Now Able to Detect the Three Most Common Heart Arrhythmias
In April 2019, AliveCor announced that this solution is now able to detect the following:-
1. Atrial Fibrillation (afib or af): An irregular, often rapid heartbeat.
2. Bradycardia: A slower-than-normal heart rate, with no atrial fibrillation (afib or af) detected.
3. Tachycardia: A faster-than-normal heart rate, with no atrial fibrillation (afib or af) detected.
4. Normal Rhythm: A normal rhythm.
AliveCor in April 2019 indicated that it is the only personal EKG device on the planet that is actually FDA cleared to detect the three most common arrhythmias as mentioned above.
Why Was I Advised To Use The Kardia Mobile Device In The First Place
I have a heart condition and also experience stress and anxiety. I also experience panic attacks and migraine headaches. Sometimes I will have a medical event. It is hard to determine if these are more related to my heart or the other reasons.
I was advised by my cardiologist to get the Kardia Mobile Device with its partner App to help gather hard evidence that will help in this determination a few weeks after experiencing one of those medical events.
My doctor who I saw shortly after that event advised me that I had a panic attack and that it had nothing whatsoever to do with my heart. My cardiologist was not so sure.
I have found the Kardia Mobile Device with its partner App to be great. The people behind this, AliveCor also offer additional services and supports which I will also discuss in this review. This makes their complete offering very useful, very practical, very cost effective and very time effective for me which empowers me to get on with the rest of my life, rather than waiting around doctors, hospitals and the like.
An EKG and an ECG and an Electrocardiogram are all the same thing, it is just that different people use different terms to mean the same thing. A heart condition called atrial fibrillation is also known as afib and as af depending on context.
My Success Story Using the Kardia Mobile Device
My cardiologist recommended that I use the Kardia Mobile Device with is partner App in October 2016. I used this solution to capture my first EKG for the first time on October 30, 2016. I have been using this solution as required since then. It is now 2019 and I still find this solution useful. If I did not, you wouldn’t be reading about it here. 🙂
I use the Kardia Mobile Device with its partner App to capture EKGs when I have an interesting event and use the results that the App generates to help me determine my next move. If the partner App determines that the result is Normal, my next move is to forget about it and move on with my life.
For the Non normal results, I usually order an Analysis Report via the partner App where a cardiac physiologist looks at the EKG and makes recommendations. They usually come back to me via the App within one business day with this information. They also send an email to let me know that the report is also available. There is of course, a charge for this service.
Then depending on the results of that Analysis Report, I email the associated EKG to my cardiologist for her recommendation. Lucky for me so far, this is a rare event for me and so far for me, she comes back with a “nothing to worry about”. Long may that be the case.
My cardiologist and I agreed this process a while back. We review and agree this process regularly to ensure that it still makes sense. In my opinion, you should agree a process with your professional heart team and review that process on a regular basis to ensure that it still makes sense.
So far I obtained a number of EKGs using the Kardia Mobile device with its partner App. Luckily for me, I only had to get my cardiologist to review a very small number of them. These were all right however I still need to send her any interesting EKGs in case further actions are required.
Some advantages of the Kardia Mobile Device
EKG on the move
Take unlimited medical-grade EKGs anytime, anywhere. Email unlimited EKGs to yourself or your doctor (Dr) or your physician or your general practitioner (GP). Make sure that you agree an approach before hand with that person.
Trusted by Doctors
FDA-Cleared to detect Atrial Fibrillation (afib or af) or Bradycardia if AF not detected or Tachycardia if AF not detected or Normal Heart Rhythm in 30 seconds.
Easy to use
Simply place your fingers on the sensors — no wires, patches or gels required.
Kardia works with most smartphones & tablets on Android & iOS
Kardia also works with most modern iPhones.
Go premium: Enjoy unlimited cloud storage of all your EKG recordings, plus monthly reports and much more. No commitment required.
Please Note that the Kardia Mobile Device with its partner App is not recommended for use with pacemakers or ICDs. As a lay person myself I do not know the reasons why. As I do not have a pacemaker or ICD myself this does not affect me however it may affect you.
My Review Of the Kardia Mobile Device with its Partner App
I have been using the Kardia Mobile Device with its partner App for a few years now and this is my take on this.
I find it a great tool to have to help me manage my heart health.
One of the biggest benefits for me is letting me know that the health events I have are more related to my anxiety/stress rather than my heart.
And that I have hard evidence to back up that observation.
What Is the Kardia Mobile Device with its Partner App?
The Kardia Mobile Device with its partner App is a great handy practical personal way for capturing EKGs anytime anywhere.
It is about the length of a credit card and just under two thirds of the width of a credit card.
This works in conjunction with compatible smartphones and tablets on Android and on iOS. Using Kardia App, its associated App, this captures heart rate, rhythm and symptoms for early detection of Atrial Fibrillation (afib or af).
Rather than going to a hospital and capturing your EKG that way, the Kardia Mobile Device with its partner App allows you to take your EKG yourself now during an interesting event, get an Instant Result and then based on the Instant Result, you can determine your next action step in an objective way. If the Instant Result is Normal that may suggest that something else is the cause.
If you have an interesting event, then it is going to be some time by the time you get to an medical facility for them to take your EKG. By then, your EKG may show nothing of interest because the interesting event is over. This is where this solution really steps into its own.
This is a very mobile and very portable way to allow you to get an EKG and an Instant Result which allows you to determine your next action step if there is one in an objective manner.
Who Is the Kardia Mobile Device For?
This is for anyone interested in their heart health, basically almost everyone. I am not sure about children or the elderly or people requiring care from other people.
For most people I think that it would be a useful tool. Remember that it is a tool and that any applicable results do need to be shared with your professional heart team so that any applicable corrective actions are taken.
If you experience stress/anxiety and have a heart condition, and the tool reports a lot of “unclassified” results or other results that concern you, I would advise that you discuss these with your professional medical team to discuss you using this tool or not.
This is for anyone interested in capturing EKGs when necessary.
Some of the physical symptoms of stress or anxiety are similar to heart related physical symptoms, and it can be difficult to pin these down, especially if you have a heart condition and also experience stress or anxiety.
The Kardia Mobile Device with its partner App may help you in this determination. Or at least, that is what it is doing for me very well, it appears that some of my physical symptoms are more related to my stress/anxiety rather than my heart, which is good news for me.
I also have an underlying heart condition that is being managed by my heart health team.
How Is the Kardia Mobile Device with its Partner App Helping Me?
A few years ago, I was under a lot of stress and anxiety, and had a panic attack. I immediately went to see my doctor and saw him shorty after that event.
He was very sure that the event was a panic attack. The doctor even said during that discussion that if he thought it was heart related in any shape or form rather than panic attack related that I would be in an ambulance on the way to a hospital.
According to my cardiologist who I saw a few weeks later, it may have been a heart related incident.
My cardiologist suggested that I get the Kardia Mobile Device with its partner App as this could help in providing hard evidence.
She explained that she thought that maybe a heart related incident ‘kicked off’ the panic attack in the first place, rather than stress/anxiety. I prefer my doctor’s explanation that it was stress/anxiety.
Another medical professional said way later that my cardiologist had no option but to indicate to me that the event may have been heart related otherwise she would not have been doing her job. She did not know my doctor and so she was erring on the side of caution.
The Kardia Mobile Device with its partner App can be used anywhere at anytime in conjunction with a compatible smartphone, including at home. This captures a successful EKG recording and provides an instant result.
The instant result can be Normal or Possible Atrial Fibrillation (afib or AF) or Bradycardia without afib being detected or Tachycardia without afib being detected or Unclassified.
This is very useful because then you have hard evidence to discuss with your doctor if necessary.
Unclassified here means “Kardia unclassified” or “AliveCor unclassified”. The partner App in conjunction with the Kardia Mobile Device by AliveCor may return an unclassified result on occasion and this is explained more below.
Unclassified means that the partner App is not able to determine if the EKG is normal or not. In this case, it also did not detect an Atrial Fibrillation or Bradycardia without AF being detected or Tachycardia without AF being detected.
In this case, someone who knows how to read and interpret an EKG would need to look at it. This could be your doctor or your cardiologist.
For me, seeing my doctor, unless if it an emergency means that I would have to book an appointment to see him. It would be rare that I would be able to see him within a week, because his schedule is so full. I am also not sure if he would provide an interpretation of the EKG and he would most likely refer me to my cardiologist.
For me, I can email the EKG to my cardiologist and she will come back within 2 – 3 business days, assuming that she is around. I do not want to “cry wolf” and add unnecessary to her workload, unless I have a really good reason.
So getting a doctor or cardiologist to look at Unclassified EKGs may be something that is not easy to do in the real world.
Luckily for me and maybe you too, AliveCor have an option to get “unclassified” EKG readings reviewed by a cardiac physiologist. That option works well for me.
If it is unclassified, they have an option to get that reviewed by a cardiac physiologist. The level of detail that is provided is an interpretation of the EKG and a doctor recommendation.
They expect to get back to you with 24 hours. They naturally have a small charge for this service. Once you order this EKG review via the App, they report back to you via the App and those results are kept in your History. This is the case if you are using the Premium option which I am using because that works for me.
That unclassified EKG review comes back as an Analysis Report inside of the App:
1: Explains the level of severity using traffic light colors to help you determine your next action step:
a: Green for “Stable”
b: Orange for “Needs Review”
c: Red for “Serious”
2: There would be some brief technical information regarding the EKG, for example rate and rhythm. This information is enclosed in a box with a green or orange or red background that indicates how severe it is using the traffic light colors mentioned above. This is followed with the recommendation.
When using this option, they also send you an email when you order this Analysis Report for the unclassified reading and another email when the Analysis Report is available. This can then be reviewed securely online or in the App itself.
In the App itself, for that EKG recording, there is an option to view that Analysis Report. Note that this is only the case if the EKG recording was “Unclassified” and you ordered the Analysis Report for that EKG. I do not know if there is an option to order these Analysis Reports if you are not on premium.
When I have ordered these Analysis Reports, they have always come back within 24 hours, even over a bank holiday weekend. I find that this approach works well for me.
To obtain an EKG reading in a hospital or doctor when there is an applicable medical event is next to impossible, the applicable medical event for me lasts less than 20 minutes and I clearly can not get to a hospital or doctor when it is happening, and by the time I get there, even in the best case, the event is long over so capturing the EKG then would be nearly pointless. Beside which, the hospital or doctor is going to charge me way more to even talk to me at that stage. 🙂 🙂
Getting hard evidence of some heart rhythm conditions can be challenging because they do not necessary last for a long time so by the time you get to a medical facility, that event may be over. With the Kardia Mobile device with its partner App, you might be lucky enough to capture it and then share that result with your professional heart team so that the correct actions are taken. This hopefully has the result of you staying alive for longer because you are getting the correct treatment for your heart.
How To Use the Kardia Mobile Device (Video)
Here’s a brilliant short video outlining how to use the Kardia Mobile Device with its partner App to capture EKGs anywhere anytime:
Once you look at the above video you see how to use this solution to capture EKGs anywhere anytime. It is actually quite easy to use.
Since the video was developed, this solution can now detect two additional heart arrhythmias – bradycardia and tachycardia:
The Kardia Mobile Device with its Partner App Providing Stress Relief and Peace of Mind (Video)
Here’s another brilliant short video. This video shows this solution providing stress relief and peace of mind.
I really liked the comment where the person gets an EKG reading in 30 seconds which he compares against going to the doctor and back which he reckons he can do in 3 hours. He compares 30 seconds against a 3 hour trip to the doctor and back.
In my world if I want to see my doctor, I have to book an appointment. I be lucky if I see him within a week. And if it was really urgent I should be on the way to hospital rather than being at the doctor.
What I Like About the Kardia Mobile Device with its Partner App
These are things that I like about this solution:
Captures EKGs anytime anywhere: This allows me to obtain an EKG reading and Instant Result at anytime anywhere. I just need to have the Kardia Mobile Device and my smartphone with me. No waiting around in medical facilities and no need to book medical appointments.
I do not know anyone who likes waiting in medical facilities. Do you? 🙂
If it detects that the EKG reading is Normal, it displays this result within a few seconds of completing the EKG. In my experience in a hospital setting, when they perform a EKG on me, they never tell me if it is good or otherwise. They keep me guessing. It may very well be the same with you.
If it detects any possible atrial fibrillation (afib or AF), it displays this result within a few seconds of completing the EKG.
If it detects any bradycardia with no afib detected, it displays this result within a few seconds of completing the EKG.
If it detects any tachycardia with no afib detected, it displays this result within a few seconds of completing the EKG.
If it does not detect a Normal reading or an afib reading or bradycardia with no afib detected or tachycardia with no afib detected, the result is unclassified and it displays this result within a few seconds of completing the EKG.
Easy to use now. In the beginning, I found it difficult not really sure why. It may have been because I was stressed/anxious or it may be that the App itself has been updated to make it more likely that capturing EKGs is easier. Or more likely a combination of those two reasons. Or some completely unknown reason.
For me, about 1/3 of the EKGs, the App reports as Normal within a few seconds of capturing it. That is great. Knowing that quickly that there is nothing to be concerned about is great. Of course, your results may be completely different.
For me for the other EKGs, I usually place an order with AliveCor for them to review that, along with their explanation/recommendation. For me so far, for about half of these, they come back with a “Green” traffic light.
For about the other half, they come back with an “Orange” traffic light and an explanation with a recommendation. For me, there are currently three “Orange” traffic light medical results:
1: One of those medical results is “Normal for me, however Abnormal for the general population”. My cardiologist informed me that I can safety ignore these.
2: The second medical result is one where I email the applicable EKG graph and Analysis Report to her for her to review. The one so far was benign however further ones may not be. It depends on number and speed of this particular result whether it is ok or not.
3: Same as number 2 however a different medical result which was okay for me but needed to run it by the cardiologist to be sure. This is one of those ones where there are extra beats. This can be due to stress or drinking coffee or being on an over the top medicine for the common cold. It was okay for me on the occasion where it was reported to me.
What I Do Not Like About The Kardia Mobile Device
These are things that I do not like about the Kardia Mobile Device:
I had to get a smartphone in order to use the Kardia Mobile Device so cons about that are listed against it in my case. If you already have a compatible smartphone this would not be the case for you.
At the time I opted for a new cheap Android smartphone which works very well for me. I did not want to fork out for an Apple watch at the time because they are very expensive compared to cheap Android smartphones.
Remember I had no experience with the Kardia Mobile Device prior to getting my brand new cheap Android. Either could have ended up gathering dust due to not being used. This didn’t happen however it could have.
1. I found it hard to use in the beginning: When using the device in the beginning, I found it difficult to capture EKGs not really sure why. It may have been because I was stressed/anxious or it may be that the App itself has been updated to make it more likely that capturing EKGs is easier. Or more likely a combination of those two reasons. Or some other completely different reason.
2. I had to purchase a smartphone: Prior to purchasing the smartphone and the device, AliveCor were not able to confirm for me that that smartphone was compatible with their device.
I am using that smartphone as a “hand-held computer”. I am not using it as a mobile phone because I can not carry it in my pocket like my old current trusty mobile phone.
I am listing that I had to purchase a smartphone as a con as I use an old fashioned cell phone to make phone calls. I still do. The cell phone fits neatly into my pocket when on the move. The smartphone is bigger and can not fit into my pocket.
Why I Recommend this Solution?
For me and my experience so far with this, I find that this is a brilliant tool and has great timely services behind the scenes built into their overall offerings which I also find great.
So far, the hard evidence that I captured with it for me, is indicating that my events are more related to my stress/anxiety health rather than my heart health, which is useful to know and allows me to focus in on that observation.
As I said earlier, I have been using this solution for some years now and this is my story of using it so far.
Remember also I was recommended to this solution by my cardiologist who recommended that it would be a useful tool for me to use. I have a heart related issue and also experience stress/anxiety, and it can be difficult to pin down the reason for an individual medical event.
In my case, it looks like the individual medical events are more related to my stress/anxiety, rather than my heart, which is really good to know.
That is my case, your case may of course be completely different.
I explained how I use this solution. I would expect that other people may also use it in a similar way and in other ways too.
I would recommend that when you get yours that you work closely with your doctor and your cardiologist with any of the applicable results that it generates for you.
It is important in my opinion that your medical team approve of you using this solution especially if you have any health concerns so that you are working in conjunction with them.
I understand that many people record an EKG reading every day using this solution as part of their overall health/fitness regime. This is an interesting way to use this solution using it as an EKG monitor. These people expect that their results will be normal and if the result is not normal, they have something solid to discuss with their professional medical team. This I understand is a popular way of using it.
That way wouldn’t work for me because most of these readings may be “unclassified” and I would need to purchase reports and be worrying unnecessary and putting additional stress/anxiety on my heart. Therefore this would not be good approach for me.
Of course, I have shown this solution in action to another doctor that I saw and she was impressed with it too. Her comment was along the line of “sometimes patients show them things that they are not aware off”.
How the Kardia Mobile Device Scores
For me, it is a practical way to capture EKGs. I like the Instant Results. Any of the EKGs that I generated with this solution that I shared with my cardiologist, my cardiologist agreed with their results. I find that reassuring.
I love it when the Instant Result is Normal because then I have peace of mind and can move on with the rest of my life. This saves me a ton of time and a ton of worry.
If the Instant Result is unclassified, there is a short reasonable delay in getting a cardiac physiologist to do an Analysis Report. I explained this process in more detail elsewhere in this review. I find that process effective and efficient for me.
I find that the Instant Results along with any applicable Analysis Reports are good and practical. They are presented in such a way that I know if there is a need for me to contact my cardiologist or not.
Most of the time for me they come back with a “Normal for me” type of response. Then I have peace of mind and can move on with the rest of my life. This saves me a ton of time and a ton of worry.
If that result is “oops, not normal for me” I can simply forward the captured EKG to my cardiologist for what to do next. So far, my cardiologist has come back with a “ah, David, that is okay as that is normal for you and nothing to be concerned about”. Then I have peace of mind and can move on with the rest of my life. This saves me a ton of time and a ton of worry.
My Pros of the AliveCor Kardia Mobile Device
- FDA cleared
- Trusted by Doctors
- Easy to use
- Capture EKG recordings nearly anywhere anytime in 30 seconds
- Know if atrial fibrillation (afib or af) or bradycardia without afib or tachycardia without afib or normal instantly
- Works with most smartphones & tablets on Android & iOS
- Email EKG recordings to your doctor
- I find that it saves me tons of time & worry whenever I experience health issues that may be connected with my heart
My Cons of the AliveCor Kardia Mobile Device
- Took a while to get used to using it
- Remember to bring when I leave home
- It is not recommended for use with pacemakers or ICDs
- Knowing how to proceed when instant results are Unclassified (This article explains what I do, feel free to follow that approach however I recommend agreeing an approach with your professional heart health team)
My Rating of the AliveCor Kardia Mobile Device
- Features: 10/10
- Quality: 10/10
- Value: 10/10
- Overall Rating: 10/10
Why I chose the AliveCor Kardia Mobile Device?
I chose the AliveCor Kardia Mobile Device with its partner App and considered it to be the Best EKG Capture Mobile Solution based on the advise of my cardiologist. The price and positive reviews on Amazon from verified purchasers helped my purchasing decision.
I can capture an EKG very quickly and get an instant result. I can then very quickly determine my next move on that instant result based on “hard evidence”. I am usually able to spend the rest of that day continuing on with that day’s planned activities which is good.
Using the AliveCor Kardia Mobile Device in conjunction with my smart phone has saved me tons of time whenever I experienced a health issue that may be connected with my heart.
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