AliveCor iPhone App and Cover to Evaluate Your Heart

December 5, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Taking care of your heart is a tad easier if you have an iPhone. There’s a new iOS app from AliveCor that comes accompanied with an iPhone cover.

The phone case is compatible for both the iPhone 4 and 4S, and it acts as a portable electrocardiogram. For those who are not so much into medical terms, an ECG evaluates the heart’s electrical impulses.

In order to operate AliveCor’s app, the user should prop the iPhone on their chest; they can alternatively place thumbs on the two sensors. After doing so, the reading shown is taken and uploaded into AliveCor’s cloud, which can later be downloaded by a medical professional and analyzed.

The main advantage with this technology is that the process can be done anywhere; at home, office or even at a bus stop. Those people who have a weak heart can self-administer an ECG anytime and upload their data for evaluation.

UCLA Associate Chief of Cardiology Dr. Gregg Fonarow praised the app, deeming it a very exciting idea. He said that it has “the potential to improve quality of care and reduce health care expenditures.”

Licensed medical professionals can use AliveCor’s Heart Monitor to record, display, store, transfer, and evaluate single-channel electrocardiogram (ECG) rhythms. The rhythm strips can be of any duration, and the data can be stored on the user’s iPhone as well as in the cloud for later analysis, which can be shared and printed via AliveCor’s secure website.

The data transmission is wirelessly done from the Heart Monitor through via AliveCor’s low-power, proprietary communication protocol, and requires no pairing between the iPhone and the device. There are electrodes in the case that fits onto the back of the iPhone.

The app has gained the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is out for pre-order and sale in the US on the AliveCor website for $199. The company plans to launch the app in Europe early next year.

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