AliveCor Kardia Mobile Device Review (Updated for 2018)

My name is David and I have been using the AliveCor Kardia Mobile Device successfully since October 2016. For me since then, I have been using this device as required to help me manage my health in conjunction with my health team.

A Personal Success Story Using The Kardia Mobile Device

I have a heart condition and also suffer from stress/anxiety. I also suffer 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 an cardiologist to get an AliveCor Kardia Mobile Device to help gather “hard evidence” that will help in this determination a few weeks after suffering from 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.

I have found the AliveCor Kardia Mobile Device to be a great little device. The people behind this device, 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.

The AliveCor Kardia Mobile Device Review you are about to read is based on my own real life personal experiences of using it for over 20 months. This device works in conjunction with compatible smartphones and tablets on Android and on iOS.

This is my AliveCor Kardia Mobile Device Review. This is my take of this device which I updated for 2018. I have personally been using this device since October 2016. I wrote this review initially in 2018 after using the device for about 20 months. I updated this review last in 2018.

If you are finding it impossible to capture EKGs/ECGs when necessary this may be the solution that you are looking for. Here you will learn more about the Kardia Mobile device. You will also find out if it is any good, based on my real life experiences of using it.

Here is what you will learn in my Review for the Kardia Mobile Device by AliveCor:

Introduction

This is a great handy device for capturing EKGs/ECGs anytime anywhere. This works with compatible smartphones and tablets on Android and on iOS. In my opinion and for my requirements, it works great. I have been using this since October 2016.

In a nutshell:
ECG graph

  • EKG/ECG on the move: Take unlimited medical-grade EKGs anytime, anywhere. Email unlimited EKGs to yourself or your doctor.
  • Trusted by Doctors: FDA-Cleared to detect Atrial Fibrillation 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. See compatible devices section:
    Not recommended for use with pacemakers and ICDs.
  • OPTIONALLY: Go premium: Enjoy unlimited cloud storage of all your EKG/ECG recordings, plus monthly reports and much more. No commitment required.

My personal review

I have been using the Kardia Mobile Device since October 2016 and this is my take on this.

What is this?

This is a great handy device for capturing EKGs/ECGs 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 the associated App, this captures heart rate, rhythm and symptoms for early detection of Atrial Fibrillation.

Here’s a brilliant short video outlining what this is all about. You heard the expression that a picture tells a thousand words? Well, this short video of just over a minute tells a lot.

Who is this for?

This is for anyone interested in their heart health, basically everyone. This is for anyone interested in capturing EKGs/ECGs 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 suffer from stress/anxiety.

This device 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. I also have an underlying heart condition that is being managed by my heart health team. In my case, there is a heart condition as well as the stress/anxiety.

How is this helping me?

A few years ago, I was under a lot of stress and anxiety, and had a panic attack. I went straight away to see the 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 an cardiologist who I saw a few weeks later, it may have been a heart related incident. That cardiologist suggested that I get the Kardia Mobile Device as that device could help in providing more 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.

Another medical professional said way later, that the 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 that was the first time I saw her, so she was erring of the side of caution.

The Kardia Mobile device can be used anywhere at anytime in conjunction with a compatible smartphone, including at home. This does an EKG/ECG and detects if the heart is normal, or if Atrial Fibrillation is detected or if it is unclassified. It is very helpful when an applicable medical event happens. I use this when there is an applicable medical event. It detects for me if the heart is normal (great) or if an Atrial Fibrillation is detected or if it is unclassified.

Unclassified here means “Kardia unclassified” or “AliveCor unclassified”. The Kardia Mobile 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 App is not able to determine if the EKG/ECG is normal or not. In this case, it also did not detect an Atrial Fibrillation. In this case, someone who knows how to read and interpret an EKG/ECG 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/ECG and he would most likely refer me to my cardiologist.

For me, I can email the EKG/ECG 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/ECGs 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/ECG 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/ECG 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/ECG 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/ECG review comes back as an Analysis Report inside of the App:
1. Explains the level of severity. Green means stable, orange means needs review and red means serious. A traffic light system so that you can understand very quickly what it means.
2. There would be some brief technical information regarding the EKG/ECG, 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.
3. This is 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/ECG recording, there is an option to view that Analysis Report. Note that this is only the case if the EKG/ECG recording was “Unclassified” and you ordered the Analysis Report for that EKG/ECG. 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 personally find that this approach works well for me. To obtain an EKG/ECG 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/ECG 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. 🙂 🙂

Pros

  • Captures EKGs/ECGs anytime anywhere.
  • If it detects that the EKG/ECG reading is Normal, it displays this result within a few seconds of completing the EKG/ECG. In my experience in a hospital setting, when they perform a EKG/ECG 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, it displays this result within a few seconds of completing the EKG/ECG.
  • If it does not detect a Normal reading or an AF reading, the result is unclassified and it displays this result within a few seconds of completing the EKG/ECG.
  • 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/ECGs is easier.
  • For me, about 1/3 of the EKGs/ECGs, 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.
  • For me for the other EKGs/ECGs, 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/recommendation. So far, that explanation/recommendation has been something my cardiologist indicated is “Normal for me”. For me, so far, they usually come back within a few hours which allows me to continue on with my life.

Cons

  • When using the device in the beginning, I found it difficult to capture EKGs/ECGs. I am not sure why.
  • I had to purchase a smartphone, and 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 have to remember to bring the smartphone with me when I leave the house in case there is an applicable medical event.

How to use?

Here’s a brilliant short video outlining how to record a clean EKG/ECG with the Kardia Mobile Device. This video is less than a minute and explains this really well.

Why I recommend this?

For me and my experience so far with this, I personally 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.

My personal rating

I rate the Kardia Mobile Device by AliveCor as 4.5 stars out of 5.0 stars.

My product overview

Product: Kardia Mobile Device by AliveCor.
  • EKG/ECG Monitor.
  • Wireless EKG/ECG.
  • Captures Heart Rate, Rhythm & Symptoms for Early Detection of Atrial Fibrillation.
  • For Smartphones & Tablets.

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5.0 stars (4.5 starts out of 5.0 stars).


FDA Cleared: Yes.

Captures EKGs/ECGs anytime: Yes.

Captures EKGs/ECGs anywhere: Yes.

Provides a Normal, Atrial Fibrillation or Unclassified Result within a few seconds of completing the EKG/ECG: Yes.

Recommended: Yes.

Buy At Amazon: Yes.

Click here to go to Amazon now.

Closing conclusion

I hope that you enjoyed my take of the AliveCor Kardia Mobile Device, which I wrote and updated in 2018. As I said at the beginning of this review I have been using this device since October 2016, so I waited about 20 months before writing this review so that you could appreciate it from the point of view of someone who actually uses this device as needed and who has been using it for over 20 months now.

Remember also I was recommended to this device by an cardiologist who recommended that it would be a useful tool for me to use. I have a heart related issue and also suffer from 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 device earlier in this review. I would imagine that other people may also use the device in a similar way and in other ways too. I would recommend that when you purchase the device that you work closely with your doctor and your cardiologist with any of the applicable results that it generates for you.

I understand that many people record an EKG/ECG reading every day using this device as part of their overall health/fitness regime. That is another potential way that you could use this device yourself.

It would be important in my opinion that your medical team approve of you using this device, especially if you have any health concerns, so that you are working in conjunction with them. Of course, I have shown this device in action to another doctor that I saw and she seemed to be impressed with it too. Her comment was that “sometimes patients show them things that they are not aware off”.

The device is approved by the FDA in the United States of America.

Are you going to use this Kardia Mobile Device to capture EKGs/ECGs anywhere anytime? You might decide to capture EKGs/ECGs every day or you might decide to capture EKGs/ECGs when there is some sort of health related event happening so that your heart health team and yourself can manage your heart health, using the “hard evidence” information that this generates as an aid.

It is brilliant in my opinion that the Kardia Mobile Device in conjunction with a compatible smartphone can be used in this manner to capture EKGs/ECGs in any place and at any time. It is brilliant that its partner App can do an analysis and let you know its results (Normal or Possible Atrial Fibrillation or Unclassified) within a few seconds after capturing the EKG/ECG.

This is a brilliant way that modern technology can help us more and more.

You can learn more about the Kardia Mobile Device at the Amazon website.
Click Here To Go To The Amazon Website.


 

 

About David

David is the founder of LetsTalkManagingStress.com and is a stress expert who helps people manage stress better to live happier and more contented lives. For a number of effective strategies to manage stress, click here to read his Detailed Article Detailing A Number Of Effective Strategies To Manage Stress. You can Read More About David Here.

View all posts by David →

16 Comments on “AliveCor Kardia Mobile Device Review (Updated for 2018)”

  1. This sounds like it would be a wonderful device for someone with a heart problem or like you mentioned, trying to determine if they do or if it’s just stress. It’s great that you can get a reading so fast and that it works with your phone. Technology is amazing!

    1. David says:

      Hi Heidi,

      It is a wonderful device. I really like the idea that the manufacturers/developers of the device encourage people who use this device to work in partnership with their own doctor and their own cardiologist to help manage any associated health related things. It is important for people’s own well being that they do this, especially if it reveals any interesting EKGs/ECGs so that the appropriate follow-up steps are done.

      Peace,
      David

  2. I feel really lucky for visiting your site as I was planning to buy one .
    I learn a lot from your site .

    Great product and article. I will surely share it with my friends and relatives.

    Thank you

    1. David says:

      Hi Hemant,

      That is great. I also hope that your friends, relatives and yourself find that the device is useful.

      Peace,
      David

  3. Kenny says:

    Hi this is really great review of something that could potentially save your life. It can be hard sometimes to get the right diagnosis from even a medical professional. I have a colleague who is struggling with heart related issues and I think he might benefit from a device like this. I will be sure to show him your site tomorrow. Thanks, Kenny 

    1. David says:

      Hi Kenny,

      Make sure that your colleague involves his or her medical team. When I get any unclassified readings with this, I usually use the Kardia Mobile review service. I have found this review service to be a great service.

      If this reveals something “interesting” I then get in touch with my cardiac specialist for additional support as advised by her. Lucky for me in the last year or so, I have not had the need to do that, which is reassuring for me.  

      Peace,
      David

  4. John says:

    Wow, this is fascinating.  So in terms of measuring stress, how accurate are the measurements of EKGs/ECGs in determining the damaging effect stress has on your body?  I know stress can cause chronic inflammation and be damaging to the body in so many ways – especially cardiovascular health/coronary arteries.I agree with your conclusion, it seems to be better to  work closely with your doctor and cardiologist for the need and interpretation of applicable results.  I shall take this up with my Doctor!  Thank you for opening my eyes to this.

    1. David says:

      Hi John,

      EKGs/ECGs show in graphical form some aspects of heart health, however my understanding as a lay person is, it is not capable of determining how much of this is related to stress. The FDA in the United States has approved Kardia mobile. My understanding is that any doctor or cardiac specialist in the USA has to take seriously any EKGs/ECGs created using Kardia mobile. Medical professionals use these results in conjunction with other tests etc in order to come to the medical diagnosis. 

      It is therefore important to ensure that your medical team is involved in the process. My medical team advised me about 2 years ago about this device and recommended very strongly that I should get Kardia mobile, and share any applicable results with them. For me, I find that it is useful.  

      Peace,
      David

  5. Jim says:

    Hi David,

    I’m going to have to tell my neighbor about this review.  He has been using the Heartcheck Pen for about a year and he said that after 6 months, it began giving him erroneous readings – which isn’t good when you’re trying to monitor your heart health.

    Besides him paying 3 times as much for the Heartcheck Pen, he got severely distorted readings that showed not only a possible sinus tachycardia but, also myocardial infarction – which is a heart attack!  When he went to a cardiologist for verification, he was told that everything was completely normal – and not to worry.

    I think for a lot less cost, the Kardia Mobile Device seems to be a better quality, more dependable way for him to monitor his heart health!

    Jim

    1. David says:

      Hi Jim,

      Sounds like this device could be what the doctor ordered, pun not intended. 🙂

      As the FDA in the United States approved Kardia mobile, my understanding is that any doctor or cardiac specialist in the USA has to take seriously any EKGs/ECGs created using Kardia mobile. Medical professionals use these results in conjunction with other tests etc in order to come to the medical diagnosis.

      It is therefore important that your neighbour ensures that his medical team including his cardiologist is involved with the process. He may want to ask his cardiologist for advise regarding using this tool or indeed any other tool. And discuss the various kinds of results that he may get and how to process the different results.

      In my case, my cardiologist recommended that I use this tool. When I mentioned it to my doctor, he knows that I suffer from stress/anxiety as well, and he said that if I get any “bad” results that they may be “misleading”. When I saw my cardiologist the last time, I suggested no longer using the tool (because the EKGs/ECGs generated with the tool showed nothing out of the ordinary after detailed analysis, sometimes after some worrying for a period of time), and she said that I was to continue to use this tool when “interesting” medical events happen. Different medical professionals having different views based on their perceptions. 

      I do not reside in the USA so my doctor and cardiologist do not have to take the results of using this tool when coming to any medical diagnosis. 

      Peace,
      David

  6. Derek James says:

    Can my wife and I both use the same device or do we need one each?

    1. David says:

      Hi Derek,

      You can use one device for both your wife and yourself.

      However you need to consider the following:

      You can attach the device to the back of a smartphone. If you do this, you will be able to use that device with that smartphone. I have not attached the device to the back of my smartphone so I can use it with multiple smartphones. I risk losing the device, so I always keep it in the little box it came with when it is not in use.

      From a practical viewpoint you might want to consider getting a device each, in case you intend using it when you are away from each other which may be likely at least now and again. If she has it with her when she is away from home and you are at home and you want to use it, you have to wait until she gets back, by which time the ‘event’ you wanted to record would be well over.

      You may need to clean it before use when switching from one to the other.

      So yes, although you can use the same device for the two of you, it may not be practicable in the real world we live in.

      Peace,
      David

  7. kimberly says:

    hi David
    I just recently had triple cabg I was wondering if this product would be able to let me know if I were having another heart attack or not. I don’t have Afib .

    thank you,
    Kim

    1. David says:

      Hi Kim,

      I hope that you are recovering well seeing as you had a triple cabg recently.

      This product is used to record EKGs/ECGs. Once you record an EKG/ECG for the specified length of time, the default is 30 seconds which is the minimum amount of time, you can change the length yourself in settings, it will return one of three results:

      1. Heart normal (great)
      2. Atrial Fibrillation is detected
      3. An unclassified result – There is an option to get that reviewed by a cardiac physiologist. The level of detail that is provided is an interpretation of the EKG/ECG 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/ECG 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.

      Speaking for myself, and because my heart consultant recommended this device for me, I use it when I have an “interesting medical event” to help determine if the event is stress/anxious related or heart related. So far the events I have recorded with it have been stress/anxious related. For these “interesting medical events” about a third of them the result is heart normal, a third of them the result is OK (Unclassified result is OK when the EKG/ECG is reviewed by a Kardia Mobile cardiac physiologist) and the other third of them the result is an abnormal heart result which is not normal for the normal population but is normal for me according to my heart consultant.

      I think that the device may be useful for you. However I would recommend that you run the idea by your medical team just to ensure that they are happy enough with the idea. If your heart result is normal when you are having a “potential heart attack” that would be good to know. However if it is a real heart attack, you should be getting proper professional medical assistance now.

      You might consider using the product on a daily basis (or another suitable time frame) to monitor your heart health. Using it this way may help you, especially if you get normal results now. Then when you get the other results, it acts as a “heads up”, and then you can arrange if need be to discuss it with your medical team. You need to run the idea by your medical team.

      Because I suffer from stress/anxiety, I don’t use it on a daily basis, because two thirds of my results are unclassified, and if I opted to get an opinion from a Kardia Mobile cardiac physiologist via the app, I would be worrying unnecessary from the time I sent the request to when they returned the result which would cause me more stress/anxious.

      You might consider getting the device and “getting familiar with it” so that you have something solid to discuss with your medical team. You could show them the EKGs/ECGs you generated using it. The EKGs/ECGs it generates have to be taken seriously by medical professionals in some parts of the world. Once you have become familiar with it, you would also be in a better position to determine if you find it helpful or otherwise.

      Please understand that if you are having a heart attack, the device can not help you. It is possible that the EKG/ECG it generates may provide useful information for medical professionals in your treatment. However if you are having a heart attack, you need to be getting urgent professional medical attention now. Just to be very clear, if you have any medical symptoms or concerns, contact or see your professional medical team promptly.

      I hope that this helps and I wish you all the best in your recovery Kim,
      Peace,
      David

  8. Christy Martin says:

    I am interested in this for my mom. She has had a couple of heart attacks a few years ago while in the hospital and they didn’t even know it. Once they finally figured out what was going on she had 99% blockage and required a stint immediately. They don’t even know how she survived it. I know she worries about having another one and I was wondering if this would help her. Could it detect that there is a chance of another one occurring or about to occur? Do you feel this would be beneficial for her ?

    1. David says:

      Hi Christy,

      I am sorry to hear about your mother’s experiences but am happy that they figured out what the cause was. That must have been a difficult for her, for you, for other loved ones and for other close people.

      If at this stage or indeed at any stage, she has any medical symptoms or concerns, I would suggest that she contacts or sees her professional medical team promptly.

      Once an EKG/ECG is recorded using Kardia Mobile for the specified length of time, the default is 30 seconds which is the minimum amount of time (this can be changed in settings), it will return one of three results:
      1. Heart normal (great)
      2. Atrial Fibrillation is detected
      3. An unclassified result – There is an option to get that reviewed by a cardiac physiologist. The level of detail that is provided is an interpretation of the EKG/ECG 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/ECG 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.

      Speaking for myself, and because my heart consultant recommended this device for me, I use it when I have an “interesting medical event” to help determine if the event is stress/anxious related or heart related. So far the events I have recorded with it have been stress/anxious related. For these “interesting medical events” about a third of them the result is heart normal, a third of them the result is OK (Unclassified result is OK when the EKG/ECG is reviewed by a Kardia Mobile cardiac physiologist) and the other third of them the result is an abnormal heart result which is not normal for the normal population but is normal for me according to my heart consultant.

      My doctor who knows I suffer from stress/anxiety says that if I get any “not good” results using it not be too concerned about it as it is possible that it is a “misreading”. My heart consultant knows this and still recommends that I use it the way I do and the way that she recommends.

      It is possible that this device may be useful for your mother if she is comfortable using a smartphone. However I would recommend that she runs the idea by her medical team just to ensure that they are happy enough with the idea.

      She might consider using the product on a daily basis (or another suitable time frame) to monitor her heart health. Using it this way may help her, especially if she gets normal results now. Then if and when she gets the other results, it acts as a “heads up”, and then she can arrange if need be to discuss it her medical team. She needs to run the idea by her medical team.

      Because I suffer from stress/anxiety, I don’t use it on a daily basis, because two thirds of my results are unclassified, and if I opted to get an opinion from a Kardia Mobile cardiac physiologist via the app, I would be worrying unnecessary from the time I sent the request to when they returned the result which would cause me more stress/anxious. This is because of my underlying heart condition. I have no idea if this would be the case with your mother.

      She might consider getting the device and “getting familiar with it” so that she has something solid to discuss with her medical team. She could show them the EKGs/ECGs she generated using it. The EKGs/ECGs it generates have to be taken seriously by medical professionals in some parts of the world. Once she has become familiar with it, she would also be in a better position to determine if she finds it helpful or otherwise.

      Please understand that if she is having a heart attack, the device can not help her. It is possible that the EKG/ECG it generates may provide useful information for medical professionals in her treatment. However if she is having a heart attack, she needs to be getting urgent professional medical attention now. Just to be very clear, if she has any medical symptoms or concerns, contact or see her professional medical team promptly.

      I hope that this helps and I wish you and your mother all the best Christy,
      Peace,
      David

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