Recording an EKG has become quicker than thanks to Kardia Mobile. Kardia Mobile is a personal EKG that you can take with you anywhere you go. For those that aren’t familiar with that term, an EKG is an electrocardiogram. An electrocardiogram measures the electric activity of your heart, and can detect any abnormalities that may indicate heart disease.
Before technical strides in the last few years, an EKG would have to be given by a doctor with access to an EKG monitor with small nodes attached to it. The nodes would have to be attached to various parts of your body to get the readings from your heart. Now an EKG can be taken with a Kardia mobile in a matter of 30 seconds.
How are EKG’s done traditionally?
For those who aren’t familiar or have forgotten what an EKG is, I’ll briefly describe the simple procedure shown in the picture above. When getting an EKG, the patient will lay down so the technician can attach soft electrodes to their body. It will be placed around your chest, arm, and sometimes your legs. The electrodes are about the size of a coin. During the test, you’ll have to lay completely still. Once everything is attached to you, the EKG machine will begin recording your heart activity. This procedure takes about 10 minutes.
How does KardiaMobile work?
Kardia Mobile turns a 10 minute procedure into a 30 second routine. It takes away the hassle of having to set an appointment, waiting in the doctor’s office, and the messy gel and wires needed for the EKG. You can literally record your EKG recording at the kitchen table right before breakfast. Here are the steps to using Kardia Mobile.
- Purchase Kardia
- Download the app for IOS or Android.
- Set up your account
- Tap “record EKG” in the app
- Place your fingertips on the sensors
- View your results in 30 seconds
Below is a video that shows how to record an EKG.
What do the analysis results mean?
It’s important to understand the results from KardiaMobile to know what your next steps should be. The results seem well named and clear enough to understand. Here are the possible results that can be returned and their meaning.
An analysis result of tachycardia means your heart rate is faster than normal. The normal range for your heart rate depends on your age and physical condition, so what’s fast for someone else may not be fast for you.
An unreadable result means it could not be read as an EKG. This can be due to incorrectly recording the EKG, or to signal noise. Kardia Mobile communicates with your smart phone through high frequency ultrasound, so it’s possible that it can catch electric interference from other sources such as your tv or large computer monitors. Here are some tips to avoid getting unreadable analysis results:
- move away from sources of electrical interference
- stay away from areas with a lot of environmental noise such as crowds
- make sure your phone or tablet isn’t plugged in to anything or charging,
- turn off hearing aids if you’re wearing them
- remain still during EKG recordings
- clean the metal electrodes with an alcohol wipe
- relax the hand and arms during EKG to reduce muscle noise
A normal result is exactly how it sounds. It indicates the normal rhythm of a functioning heart.
Possible Atrial Fibrillation
Possible Atrial Fibrillation indicates an irregular heartbeat.
This analysis results indicates a slow heart rate less than 50 beats per minute. Depending on your age and physical condition, this could a normal heart rate in healthy adults and athletes.
An unclassified result means it didn’t fall under any of the classifications listed above. This can be caused by other arrhythmias, a bad quality recording, or just not fitting into any boundaries of the other results.
Regardless of the EKG result reading you get, if chest pain or pressure is present, contact a physician or 911. With each result, you always have the option to share the EKG with a medical professional of your choice, or you can submit it for a Clinician Review (more on this later). Keep in mind that it is not recommended for use with pacemakers and ICDs.
Free Services vs. Premium Protection Plan
When you first buy KardiaMobile, there is a 30-day free trial. Any time before those 30 days are up, you can return your device and get a full refund. If you choose to keep it after your free trial, you can stick with the free service, or upgrade to the premium service for $10/month. The free services offered are:
- Unlimited EKG recordings
- Blood pressure and weight tracking
- Option to save and email an EKG recording to yourself or doctor
These basic features are good for anyone who does not plan on using the KardiaMobile device too often. However, if you plan on using the device on a daily or weekly basis, I recommend the premium plan. The premium plan includes:
- Unlimited cloud storage of your EKG recordings for access from any device
- Blood pressure and weight tracking
- Monthly report of your abnormal EKG recordings to share with your doctor
- Device Replacement (U.S. only)
- Medication Tracking
I would only recommend the premium plan for more frequent users because you’d able to access your EKG recordings from any device, not just locally on your phone. Also, if keeping track of your EKGs is vital to your health, the monthly reports will show you the trends of your past taken EKGs. I don’t think any of these would benefit someone who would only need to take their EKG once or twice a month.
A feature that is available for the basic plan and the premium plan is the Clinician Reviews. With a clinician review, you can send an EKG recording out for review to a board-certified cardiologist for an out of pocket fee. In the U.S, a review and recommendation by a board-certified cardiologist is $19 with a 24-hour response time. The clinician reviews can be purchased within the app, and you’ll also be able to see your results within the kardia app or through email.
What are the drawbacks of KardiaMobile?
A common complaint I have found from users of KardiaMobile is that they didn’t like having to pay $10 a month for the premium service after paying for the device. However, I believe that the free service is a great alternative to those who aren’t interested in paying for premium.
Even though I haven’t seen too many reviews concerning this, I’d recommend making sure that your device is compatible to work with KardiaMobile.
Also, another concern that I’ve found was the limited amount of data given by the results. Since it is only a 1-lead EKG, it does not provide as much data as a regular EKG can. In response to this concern, KardiaMobile 6l was created. KardiaMobile is a 6-lead EKG, which means it provides a better view of your heart. Since it has additional 5 leads, it can provide the doctor more information. If you want to hear more about KardiaMobile 6l, subscribe to our website and we’ll notify you when the KardiaMobile 6l article is posted.
Where to Buy?
KardiaMobile is available for purchase on Amazon. For an additional fee, Amazon lets you buy a 2-year warranty or a 3-year warranty for your device. A KardiaMobile case is also available for purchase to protect your device while it isn’t being used. Don’t forget, there’s a 30-day full money back guarantee. So, if you give it a try within that 30 day mark, you can get a full refund.
If you have any questions or thoughts/opinions you would like to share about KardiaMobile, feel free to comment below.