SCIENCE

A Mobile Heart Monitor For The Rest Of Us

Apr 24, 2015 at 11:56 AM ET

I love mobile health apps. Sure, they have their problems (apps that claim to treat acne or test urine samples are entirely bogus, and potentially dangerous), but the so-called “mhealth” business is booming nonetheless. And as the tech becomes more affordable, accurate, and fun to mess around with, physicians and patients alike are increasingly turning their phones into medical devices.

Which brings us to AliveCor—a mobile heart monitor that is one of the few FDA-approved mobile health devices on the market. It’s essentially an iPhone case with two medical-grade electrodes, where you place your fingers on the metal tabs, stand relatively still for 30 seconds, and watch as the device captures your heart rate and rhythm. The official app even performs a none-too-shabby analysis of the rhythm, although AliveCor’s claim that it can diagnose atrial fibrillation is quite a reach, given that its just a one-lead ECG, interpreted by a computer.

But as a fitness tool (and a mess-around-with-your-heart tool), AliveCor is an impressive example of the potential brewing within the mobile health market. Here’s our product test—warning, not for the faint of heart!

Read More:

Questioning The Value Of Health Apps (The New York Times)
Infographic: The Apps That Know Everything About You (Vocativ)