Heart Rhythm Society
Heart Rhythm Society
Perspective from Khaldoun Tarakji, MD, MPH
May 05, 2016
1 min read

Smartphone-based ECG monitor effective for diagnosing palpitations

Perspective from Khaldoun Tarakji, MD, MPH
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SAN FRANCISCO —A smartphone-based ECG recorder was noninferior to an ambulatory event monitor for the diagnosis of palpitations, according to results of a prospective study presented at the Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions.

“The biggest takeaway from this study is how technology can literally diagnose palpitations,” Deepika Narasimha, MD, of University at Buffalo, told Cardiology Today.

The 23 patients enrolled were given a smartphone-based ECG monitor (Kardia Mobile, AliveCor) and a standard 14- to 30-day Holter ECG ambulatory event monitor.

The diagnostic yield for the smartphone-based monitor was noninferior to the standard event monitor. Overall, the smartphone-based monitor recorded 542 rhythmic events (91%) vs. 481 (86.5%) for the standard monitor. The smartphone technology was also noninferior to standard monitoring for diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (33.3% vs. 23.8%; P < .01) and premature atrial contractions (47.6% vs. 23.8%; P < .01), according to the researchers.

More than 55% of the event monitor recordings were asymptomatic and 44.5% were symptomatic. The smartphone-based recordings were triggered at the onset of patient symptoms.

In addition, the researchers observed more premature ventricular contractions recorded with the standard monitor than with the smartphone-based technology (114 vs. 40). However, the smartphone-based monitor had a greater association between detected premature ventricular contractions and symptoms than the event monitor (55% vs. 30%).

Narasimha said in an interview that compliance to the smartphone-based technology was 95% compared to a 50% compliance to the event monitor, which she characterized as a major difference. She also said that feedback from patient questionnaires indicated that the majority of patients preferred using their smartphones. – by Tracey Romero


Narasimha D, et al. Session PO01. Presented at: Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions; May 4-7, 2016; San Francisco.

Disclosure: Narasimha reports no relevant financial disclosures.