The ability to monitor our health from home has never been greater than it is today. As a result, a wide range of digital health devices are designed to allow us to take readings related to several important physiological functions. One such device is the AliveCor KardiaMobile Card, a credit card-sized device that allows users to take an ECG recording whenever they want. AliveCor has been making FDA-approved ECG monitoring, smartphone-enabled devices for several years now. And its newest offering, the KardiaMobile Card, is recommended by NICE as a method of detecting atrial fibrillation.
KardiaMobile Card by AliveCor
Price when reviewed: $149.00
What is the KardiaMobile Card?
You can think of Kardia Mobile as a personal ECG device. It is the size of a credit card and has two sensors on which you place your fingertips. Kardia Mobile then measures electrical activity through your fingertips to determine your heart rhythm.
It takes 30 seconds to take a reading, and the KardiaMobile Card comes with a phone clip so you can carry it in your pocket and take a reading wherever you are.
The results from the ECG recording are sent to the Kardia App on your smartphone, where you can see the recording and share it with any healthcare professionals that need to know.
KardiaMobile can detect sinus rhythm, atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, and tachycardia. You will also receive blood pressure and weight monitoring.
It currently costs $149, and you can only get the device if you subscribe to KardiaCare. This is a subscription service that will cost you $99 a year. It’s worth noting, however, that you can get unlimited KardiaMobile cards for the lifetime of your subscription.
KardiaCare will give you insights into your heart health. You will get regular monthly Heart Health Reports, and your ECG recordings will be reviewed by a board-certified cardiologist every 90 days.
Not only that, but on top of the standard readings, you will also get sinus rhythm readings with PVCs, SVE, and wide QRS.
The KardiaMobile 6L is an option for people who want more detailed insights into their heart health. It has six leads rather than the two offered by the standard KardiaMobile card, and it is less sensitive to the interference that can happen when near devices such as hearing aids.
How accurate is Kardia Mobile?
Of course, there is no point in having remote cardiac monitoring if it doesn’t produce accurate ECG recordings. On that front, KardiaMobile holds up very well.
The NICE guidelines determine that the Kardia device is as accurate as traditional ECG monitoring and is more effective at detecting arrhythmia than the Holter monitor (as well as being a more cost-effective option for patients).
Similarly, a study published in Cardiology Journal found that KardioMobile was comparable in giving accurate ECG recordings as standard ECG evaluations. In addition, it was superior in detecting sinus rhythm than eyeball evaluation of a 12-lead ECG.
Are there any downsides to KardiaMobile?
KardiaMobile is a revolutionary step in giving people the power to monitor and detect a heart condition at home. It is being rolled out by government healthcare agencies worldwide, including the NHS, and it has FDA clearance as a medical device to detect atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, and tachycardia.
There is no doubt that KardiaMobile does work and that it can be a valuable device for detecting a range of indicators of cardiovascular disease.
Most of the analyses conducted within KardiaCare use AI to detect unusual heart rhythms, such as cardiac arrhythmia. With that being said, cardiologist analyses are still necessary alongside these monthly reports, whether that be by the cardiologists employed by KardiaMobile or your healthcare professionals.
So we are still a long way from a fully automated system for real-time ECG analysis, and a human eye is still needed to make the final call on whether the readings indicate a normal heart rhythm or show signs of heart disease.
Is KardiaMobile worth it?
KardiaMobile isn’t the only option for measuring ECG recordings on a smartphone. AliveCor’s first ECG monitoring device, the KardiaBand, was designed to give real-time ECG analysis through an Apple Watch. However, it is no longer being sold because the Apple Watch now has built-in remote cardiac monitoring.
And this is a pattern across the board. For example, Samsung Galaxy, Apple Watch, Fitbit Sense, and Fitbit Charge 5 also offer ECG monitoring and have FDA clearance. So it isn’t as necessary as it used to be to buy a dedicated ECG device, especially if you already own a smartwatch that can already take readings.
With that being said, KardiaMobile Card users will see benefits that go above and beyond what smartwatches can offer. The technology and accuracy are superior, especially the KardiaMobile 6L, and having access to KardiaCare can give users a more comprehensive range of insights, including input from cardiologists.
NICE specifically recommends KardiaMobile for patients who already have suspected cardiac arrhythmia, present symptoms such as palpitations, and have been referred for an ambulatory ECG monitoring by a cardiologist. And it probably is most useful for people already at risk of being diagnosed with heart disease and less useful for people who are monitoring their ECG for wellness purposes.
KardiaMobile is relatively expensive, especially once the yearly subscription to KardiaCare is added in, but it can be more cost-effective than other necessary ECG monitoring devices.
For people who have no reason to suspect that they have an arrhythmia or a heart condition, the cost of a KardiaMobile Card may well not be worth it. But for those who suspect that they don’t have a normal heart rhythm, KardiaCare is one of the best options out there for remote cardiac monitoring.
To wrap up
AliveCor KardiaMobile Card is an example of a growing trend of innovations that allow people to take control of their heart health, and other health measures, by using digital technology. As with many other forms of smart health monitoring, several studies have shown KardiaMobile to be as good, if not better, than clinical-grade ECG monitoring, and people can use it anywhere they like at any time. Digital health is changing the landscape of healthcare.