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.


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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