Detecting Atrial Fibrillation with your Smart Phone

I may have mentioned this before, but I have experienced atrial fibrillation (A-fib) in the past. A-fib is an irregular heart rhythm with rapid and/or irregular heart beating. Summed up its because the electrical system with my heart gets funky once in a while causing a short-circuit on the outside of the heart. The irregular rhythm isn’t the big risk – the risk is blood flow can get disrupted long enough in the heart to form blood clots.

I’ve been lucky that by losing 60lb+ since I was originally diagnosed and keeping a regular cardio health regimen I’ve improved. I was on medication (metoprolol and flecainide) for a couple years but I didn’t like my low heart rate and subsequent dizzy spells. My electrophysiologist and I have stopped the medication for now to see how well I’m doing without it. I needed my own electrocardiogram machine in order to prove the A-fib has stopped. The solution was a neat device made by AliveCor.

The AliveCor device connects with your iPhone or Android device and provides a FDA-cleared single-lead ECG readout. It can automatically detect A-Fib and provides the ability to export your results for your own doctor. You can also pay them for a review of your ECG by a technician within a 30-minute ($5) or 24-hour period ($2). It communicates with your device through its microphone. They claim is uses an ultrasonic sound that your phone has the ability to hear and it requires no pairing.

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I’ve only had the device a couple of days so I’ll report back after a couple months! So far, so good!

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