An app that detects an irregular heart rhythm could be reassuring for people worried about afib.
Image: Prykhodov /Thinkstock
Just over two years ago, the FDA approved the AliveCor Heart Monitor, which consists of a smartphone app plus a phone case with special sensors on the back. Touching the sensors with your fingers allows you to see a simple version of your heart's electrical activity on the phone screen. In the latest version, called Kardia, the sensors just need to be near (not necessarily on) your phone. The readout reveals if your heart rhythm looks normal or if you appear to have atrial fibrillation (afib)—a rapid, irregular heart rhythm that raises the risk of stroke.
Currently, several new smartphone apps to alert you about possible afib using just the phone itself—no special case required—are under development. Recent research suggests they're about as accurate as the Kardia system, although they haven't yet been cleared by the FDA and aren't on the market. If and when they are, could these apps help improve afib screening?
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.