Standard 6-lead ECGs have been used clinically for over 100 years to document heart rate and diagnose cardiac arrhythmias.1,2 Recently, a relatively inexpensive, novel technology with a dedicated interface capable of recording ECGs with a personal mobile communication device (ie, smartphone or tablet) has been developed. The device” incorporates electrodes in a handheld case that can be attached directly to a smartphone or tablet (iOSb or Android platform) or connected via a Bluetooth wireless signal, allowing recording of ECGs. It was approved by the FDA for use in humans in 20123 and allows relatively easy and rapid generation of a single-lead ECG rhythm strip that users can store, print, or forward to other individuals for review. In humans, this wireless system has been used to assess response to drug treatment,4 monitor patients following ablation,5 assess arrhythmias,6 and allow for initial evaluation of myocardial infarction.7 Anecdotal evidence suggests that increasing numbers of veterinarians and clients are using this technology to monitor and evaluate cardiac arrhythmias in small and large animal patients. However, no studies have examined the diagnostic accuracy of this smartphone-based ECG device in veterinary patients. Because of the relatively small dipole created by the electrodes of the device, concerns exist about the resolution of the ECG tracing and, consequently, the ability to correctly identify arrhythmias or conduction disturbances.
Therefore, the objective of the study reported here was to evaluate the diagnostic utility of ECGs obtained with this smartphone-based device, compared with simultaneously recorded reference 6-lead ECGs, for identification of heart rate and rhythm in dogs and cats. We hypothesized that the smartphone-acquired ECGs would permit accurate identification of heart rate and rhythm in dogs and cats with normal sinus rhythm or spontaneous arrhythmias when compared with reference ECGs.
Supported by Alivecor Inc.
Ventricular premature contraction
AliveCor, AliveCor Inc, San Francisco, Calif.
Apple iPhone 4 (iOS 6), Apple Inc, Cupertino, Calif.
Eickemeyer Vet PC-based ECG system, Medizintechnik für Tierärzte KG, Tuttlingen, Germany
Excel 2013, Microsoft Corp, Redmond, Wash.
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