SAN FRANCISCO — Smartphone-enabled ECG devices were effective in enabling physicians to diagnose arrhythmia disorders in a pediatric population, according to findings presented at the Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions.
Jennifer Silva, MD, and colleagues conducted the SPEAR trial to assess the usefulness of pediatric ECG tracings generated by the AliveCor device (AliveCor Inc.) and to evaluate user satisfaction.
They enrolled 35 patients aged 21 years or younger who had a documented paroxysmal arrhythmia and owned an iPhone 4, 4S or 5. Patients and their parents were instructed to transmit ECG tracings of concern, which were reviewed by pediatric cardiac electrophysiologists.
Accurate rhythmic analysis from the AliveCor device was made in 98% of tracings submitted, according to the researchers. Diagnoses included supraventricular tachycardia in 50% of patients, ectopic atrial tachycardia in 10%, atrial fibrillation in 13% and ventricular tachycardia in 27%.
“What our data show is that mobile ECG technologies are able to produce diagnostic-quality ECG tracings,” Silva, director of pediatric electrophysiology and assistant professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, told Cardiology Today. “From those data, we are able to better care for our patients as outpatients, thereby minimizing the number of emergency room visits and hospital visits, which is critical, given the way health care is headed.”
According to patient satisfaction surveys (68% of which were completed by parents), users record up to 14 tracings per month and send them to the researchers 45% of the time. The surveys also indicated that 95% of respondents think the device is easy to use, 98% said they have a high level of comfort in arrhythmia management with the device and 95% would like to continue using the device after the study ends. “They’re, in fact, dreading when the trial is going to be over and they have to give back their devices,” Silva said.
“Without a doubt, you are able to complete a diagnosis and formulate a treatment plan for these patients,” she said. “I’m hoping this kind of technology allows us to be more expeditious about making diagnoses.” – by Erik Swain
For more information:
Nguyen H. Abstract LB03-02. Presented at: Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions; May 7-10, 2014; San Francisco.
Disclosure: AliveCor Inc. provided devices but no other financial support for the study. Silva reports no relevant financial disclosures.