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Smart Phone Diagnosed Heart Rhythm Change

A patient using AliveCor with his smart phone permitted his doctor to diagnose and treat a dangerous heart rhythm abnormality.

Smart phones have become valuable diagnostic tools, especially for cardiologists.

A case study published in JAMA Internal Medicine describes a 62-year-old-man who began to feel faint during daily exercise. In his doctor’s office, an electrocardiogram of his heart was normal, as was an echocardiogram.

His doctor suggested he purchase a device called AliveCor cardiac monitor to use with his smart phone. The patient used the device during one of his exercise-induced episodes and the recording made by AliveCor permitted his heart rhythm abnormality to be diagnosed.

The arrhythmia was traced to the right ventricular outflow tract and was successfully treated with ablation. Subsequently, he had no further irregular heart rhythm problems.

The authors conclude that AliveCor is a readily available inexpensive cardiac monitoring device that may improve diagnosis of irregular heart rhythms.

[JAMA Internal Medicine, online, Jan. 26, 2015]

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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