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Kardia Mobile Review: Good Handy EKG Solution? (2022 Update)

My Review Of The Kardia Mobile Device

This review has everything you need to know about the Kardia Mobile Device.

So if you want to know how to use this to capture your heart’s EKG yourself, you’re in the right place. Plus this solution will give you an instant result of that reading.

I’ve been using this since October 2016. I’m a pleased user, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading about this here.

Keep reading…

Quick Introduction

Kardia Mobile Device in action

I first tried this out in October 2016 after my cardiologist suggested I get one.  Immediately I found it useful. I still do. Over five years later. I explain why here.

I’m a pleased user of the Kardia Mobile device. Just know I’m not a doctor. I’m just someone who happens to use one for over five years now. 

I’ve saved a lot of time and a lot of worry using this. I used to find it hard to determine if my symptoms are heart related or not. Not any more. With the Kardia Mobile device, I can capture an EKG recording and get an instant result.
 
I’ve written this in-depth article. This covers everything you need to know about the Kardia Mobile device from an end user’s point of view and how it works.
 
I also give you an in-dept overview of my experience with it to help you determine if this can also help you. And I include photos, videos, pros, cons, and more. As a special bonus, I also include my plan for when it reports not ideal results.
 

Let’s get started!

What is the Kardia Mobile Device?

Kardia Mobile is a small device. It works with a compatible smartphone or tablet to capture your heart EKG. To provide an instant result.

Is the Kardia Mobile Device Worth It?

The Kardia Mobile device is worth it. It captures EKGs using a compatible smartphone or tablet almost anywhere anytime. And reports its findings. It’s FDA-cleared to determine certain heart rhythms. Including atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, tachycardia and normal heart rhythm. Email captured EKGs to your cardiologist.

If it can’t determine the rhythm, you can order a report on the captured EKG via the Kardia Mobile app. Or you can ask a professional heart health specialist to look at it for you. Of course, that professional is going to charge you for their time and expertise.

In most of my cases, the results are okay. As this allows me to continue on with my day. Then I don’t need to go to a hospital or a health facility to capture an EKG there. Of course by the time I get there, the event is over. An EKG captured there may not show up what was happening with my heart earlier.

Using Kardia Mobile I am able to determine within a few minutes if an event is heart related. And should I be taking more actions.

Kardia Mobile and FDA clearance

The Kardia Mobile device with the Kardia Mobile app is FDA-cleared to detect the 3 most common heart arrhythmias. These are atrial fibrillation (afib or af), bradycardia & tachycardia. It’s also FDA-cleared to detect a normal heart rhythm.

Study by The American Journal of Cardiology

This study by The American Journal of Cardiology published in 2021 is interesting.

Usefulness of Mobile Electrocardiographic Devices to Reduce Urgent Healthcare Visits

Over a hundred Kardia Mobile users took part. They determined the amount of in-person healthcare services used before getting the device. Then they determined the amount used after getting the device. This study discovered that using Kardia Mobile reduces using in-person healthcare services. [1]

Why was I advised to use Kardia Mobile

I’ve a heart condition and also experience stress and anxiety. From time to time, I also experience panic attacks and migraine headaches. Sometimes I will have a medical event. It’s hard to determine if these are more related to my heart or the other reasons.

A few years ago, I was under a lot of stress and anxiety. I had one of those medical events. I saw my doctor within 30 minutes off that event. He was very sure that the event was a panic attack and that it had nothing whatsoever to do with my heart. He even said that if it was heart related in any shape or form that I would be in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.

I saw my cardiologist a few weeks later for a routine visit. She thought that it may have been a heart related incident. It could be that a heart related incident ‘kicked off’ the panic attack in the first place. Rather than stress/anxiety. I prefer my doctor’s explanation that it was stress/anxiety.
 
She suggested that I get a Kardia Mobile device with the Kardia Mobile app. This could help in providing hard evidence.
 

I have found the AliveCor Kardia Mobile with its app to be great. AliveCor also offer extra services and supports. This makes their complete offering useful, practical, cost effective and time effective. While empowering me to get on with the rest of my life. Instead of waiting around doctors, hospitals and the like.

One of the biggest benefits for me is letting me know that my health events are more related to my anxiety, not my heart. Now I have hard evidence to back up that observation. This is a huge benefit.

My success story

I used Kardia Mobile with its app to capture my first EKG for the first time on October 30, 2016. Since then I have been using this solution as required.

I use Kardia Mobile with its app to capture EKGs when I have an interesting event. As I use the results that the app generates to help me determine my next move. If its app determines that the result is normal, my next move is to forget about it and move on with my life.

For unclassified results, I usually order an Analysis Report within its app. This is where a cardiac physiologist looks at the EKG and makes recommendations. Usually they provide the analysis report within one business day.

Then depending on those results, I have the option to email the associated EKG to my cardiologist. Usually for me, this is a rare event and she comes back so far with a good response.

My cardiologist and I agreed this process a while back. We review and agree this process on a regular basis to ensure that it still makes sense.

I obtained many EKGs using Kardia Mobile with its app. Although I had to get my cardiologist to review a very small number of them. These were all right. I still need to send her any interesting EKGs.

How big is the Kardia Mobile Device?

Size of Kardia Mobile Compared To A Credit Card Approx
Approx Size of Kardia Mobile
Compared To A Credit Card

It’s about the length of a credit card and under two thirds of the width of a credit card. 

I outlined the size of a credit card in the nearby photograph. Then put my Kardia Mobile device in it. As you can see, it’s small.

Kardia Mobile works in conjunction with a compatible device. Compatible devices include smartphones and tablets on Android and on iOS. What’s more, Kardia Mobile captures heart rate, rhythm and symptoms. It can detect atrial fibrillation and other heart rhythms.

This allows you to take your EKG yourself. Get an instant result. Then determine your next action step.

If you have an event, then it is going to be some time for you to get to a medical facility to get your EKG taken. By then, your EKG may show nothing of interest because the event is over. Of course using Kardia Mobile is a very mobile empowering way to get an EKG and an instant result. Your captured EKGs and instant results act as hard evidence. While these may help medical professionals help you. To be sure, this is where this solution steps into its own.

Who is Kardia Mobile for?

Anyone interested in their heart health, almost everyone. But I am not sure about children or the elderly or people requiring care from other people. Yet those people might be able to use this with help.

For most people it would be a useful tool. Sharing applicable results with your medical team is key.

Some physical symptoms of heart conditions are like physical symptoms for other conditions. In fact, this makes it harder to determine if a symptom is heart related or something else. Especially if you have a heart condition and also experience stress or anxiety. Of course, it is possible for one condition to feed the other and make it worse. And the cycle continues.

Kardia Mobile with its app may help you in this determination. Like it’s doing for me. As it appears that some of my physical symptoms are more related to my stress/anxiety rather than my heart. Knowing this allows me to take more focussed actions. Which helps my health.

How Kardia Mobile helps me?

As mentioned earlier I have a heart condition as well as experience anxiety/stress.

I use Kardia Mobile with its app on my smartphone to capture EKGs when required. Its app also provides an instant result.

What Does Kardia Mobile detect?

Kardia Mobile detects the following rhythms instantly:

  1. Normal Heart Rhythm (Normal Sinus Rhythm)
  2. Possible Atrial Fibrillation (afib or AF)
  3. Bradycardia without detecting afib
  4. Tachycardia without detecting afib

If you have KardiaCare (an extra premium offering), it can detect the following extra rhythms instantly as well:

  1. Sinus Rhythm with Supraventricular Ectopy
  2. A Sinus Rhythm with Premature Ventricular Contractions
  3. Sinus Rhythm with Wide QRS

If the rhythm is not identified by the Kardia Mobile App as one of the above, the instant result is unclassified. 

This is very useful because then you have hard evidence to discuss with your doctor if necessary.

If you get unclassified instant results you have to find someone who can tell you what it means. This could be your doctor or your physician or your cardiologist.

For me seeing my doctor, unless it’s an emergency means that I would have to book an appointment to see him. It would be rare that I would be able to see him within a week, because his schedule is so full. I am also not sure if he would provide an interpretation of the EKG. Of course, he would most likely refer me to my cardiologist.

For me, I can email the EKG to my cardiologist. And she will come back within a few business days, assuming that she is around. I do not want to add unnecessary to her workload, unless I have good reason.

There is another option which I discuss next.

How to manage unclassified EKG instant results

Getting a doctor or cardiologist to look at unclassified EKGs can be difficult.

Useful service comes with its own extra costs 

These costs are well worth them if you get interesting unclassified EKG results. Yet those costs are very minor compared to the costs of getting medical care in a medical facility.  

There is an option inside of the app to get unclassified EKG readings reviewed. A cardiac physiologist reviews the EKG. Then provides an analysis report inside of the app:

  1. The level of severity uses traffic light colors to help you determine your next action step. Green for stable, orange for warning and red for series.
  2. Brief technical information with a color coded background indicating how severe it is.
  3. The recommendation. For instance the recommendation could be to forward the EKG to your cardiologist. Some of my heart rhythms are abnormal for the general population but normal for me. This is something my cardiologist knows. Of course an AliveCor cardiac physiologist wouldn’t know that. As that person does not have access to my complete medical history.

When using this they send you an email when you order the report and another email when it’s available. This report is also accessible online.

Every time that I have ordered an analysis report, they have always come back within 24 hours. Even over a holiday weekend. I find that this approach works well for me.

Rare serious short lasting heart rhythms can be difficult to capture

To get an EKG reading in a hospital when there is a rare serious short lasting heart rhythm is next to impossible. The applicable medical event for me lasts less than 20 minutes. It may or may not be one of these rare serious events. I can not get to a hospital or doctor when it is happening. By the time I get there, even in the best case, the event is long over so capturing the EKG then would be pointless. Of course the hospital or doctor is going to charge me way more to even talk to me at that stage. 🙂 🙂

Getting hard evidence of some heart rhythm conditions can be challenging. This is because they do not necessary last for a long time. By the time you get to a medical facility, that event may be over. With Kardia Mobile and its app, you might be lucky enough to capture it. And then share that result with your professional heart team.

Does Kardia Mobile Work?

For me and for my situation, Kardia Mobile works.

How Does Kardia Mobile Work?

The following video explains how it works by explaining how to use it. 

How to use it (video)

Here’s a brilliant short video. This outlines how to use Kardia Mobile with the Kardia Mobile app to capture EKGs anywhere anytime:

Kardia Mobile can detect extra heart arrhythmias since the production of this video. Once you look at the above video you see how to use this solution to capture EKGs anywhere anytime. It’s actually quite easy to use.

Kardia Mobile with its app providing stress relief and peace of mind (video)

Here’s another brilliant short video. This video shows this solution providing stress relief and peace of mind.

 

More Kardia Mobile Device Questions

Here are some more Kardia Mobile device questions and answers.

How Accurate is Kardia Mobile?

Worded another way, Is Kardia Mobile accurate? According to various reports in medical publications its instant results are pretty accurate. However it’s not accurate 100% of the time for all captured EKG results. As it’s a tool that is designed to be used as an aid. This is why I suggest using this with your clinician’s nod. [2, 3, 4]

The Kardia Mobile device and its algorithm have been assessed and validated in several studies. Sensitivity and specificity varied between 55–100% and 84–99% respectively, depending on the patient population and reference technique [5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] [11]

Is It Recommended to Use Kardia Mobile with a Pacemaker or an ICD?

It’s not recommended to use Kardia Mobile with a pacemaker or an ICD. Its manufacturers can’t guarantee the accuracy of the resulting EKG recordings.

What is KardiaCare?

KardiaCare is an extra premium offering. It’s a subscription service which may be paid monthly or yearly. It has useful extra functionality which is well worth it if you need it.

Is There a Recurring Fee for Kardia Mobile Without KardiaCare?

There is no recurring fee for Kardia Mobile without KardiaCare after paying for the Kardia Mobile hardware.

Is There a Recurring Fee for Kardia Mobile With KardiaCare?

There is a recurring fee (monthly or yearly) for Kardia Mobile with KardiaCare after paying for the Kardia Mobile hardware.

Is the Kardia Mobile App Updated on a Regular Basis?

The Kardia Mobile App is updated on a regular basis. Or at least it has been since I got my Kardia Mobile device back in October 2016.

Pros

There are some things about Kardia Mobile that I like.

Capture EKG recordings almost anytime anywhere

This allows me to get an EKG reading and instant result almost anytime anywhere. I need to have Kardia Mobile and my smartphone with me. No waiting around in medical facilities and no need to book medical appointments. Excellent time saver.

Provides peace of mind when results good

If it detects that the EKG reading is normal, it displays this result within a few seconds of completing the EKG. As in my experience in a hospital setting, when they perform a EKG on me, they never tell me if it is good or otherwise. It may very well be the same with you.

Practical trustworthy mobile solution

Kardia Mobile with its app is FDA-cleared to detect the 3 most common heart arrhythmias. These are atrial fibrillation (afib or af), bradycardia & tachycardia. It’s also FDA-cleared to detect a normal heart rhythm.

Some of my history and results

Easy to use now. In the beginning, I found it difficult. Of course, this may have been because of stress or anxiety. Or because of an update to its app to make capturing EKGs easier.

Normal results

For me, about 1/3 of the EKGs, the app reports normal within a few seconds of capturing it. As knowing this result is great. Of course, your results may be completely different.

Unclassified results

For me for the other EKGs, I usually place an order within the Kardia Mobile app for them to review that EKG. In about half of these, they come back with a green traffic light. For the rest, they come back with an orange traffic light. Also included is an explanation with a recommendation. For me, there are currently three orange traffic light medical results:

  1. One of those medical results is Normal for me, but Abnormal for the general population. My cardiologist informed me that I can safety ignore these.
  2. The second medical term may or may not be begin. This depends on other things happening in that EKG along with my medical history. I email the applicable EKG graph and analysis report to my cardiologist. So far she has advised me that they are benign but further ones may not be.
  3. Same as the last point, but with a different medical term. This is one of those ones where there are extra beats. This can be due to stress or drinking coffee or being on an over the top medicine for the common cold. My cardiologist was able to determine for me that it was benign on that occasion.

I have not specified the actual medical terms reported. This is because depending on variables, they may be benign or not for you. In which case, you need a professional medical person to tell you this.

More Pros

Here are some more pros:

  1. Trusted by my cardiologist so much that she recommended it to me in the first place. This made it easy for me to also trust this. An extra plus is that this is FDA-cleared to detect certain heart rhythms. Another plus is that this has lots of published data in medical related publications.
  2. I find it easy to use now. Remember I explained earlier that this was not always so.
  3. I have been able to capture EKG recordings when required.
  4. I find the instant results useful and practical. Especially when it reports normal or other expected results. This saves me a ton of time and worry.
  5. It works well with my smartphone.
  6. Rarely I email ‘interesting’ EKG recordings to my cardiologist for her advice. I also include the associated analysis report.
  7. It saves me tons of time and worry whenever I experience health issues that may be heart related.

Cons

There are some things about Kardia Mobile that I do not like.

Remember to bring everywhere

When I leave my home, I have to remember to bring the device along with my smartphone. I use my smartphone as a hand-held computer, not as a cell-phone. My cell-phone fits into my pockets. But my smartphone doesn’t. If my smartphone fitted into my pockets I would be using it as a cell-phone and this wouldn’t be a con.

Determine an action plan for how to proceed when results not ideal

You should have an action plan to follow when your results are not ideal. My action plan evolved over time based on the results I got. Of course I did not have an action plan before buying. This article explains how I proceed when I get unclassified instant results. Your tailored action plan may need adjusting over time.

Its Battery Needs Replacing From Time to Time

The Kardia Mobile Device comes with a battery. It needs replacement after a while. It’s easy to replace the battery once you know-how. [12]

My Verdict

This Kardia Mobile Review article shows why I like it. I find that it’s a good handy EKG solution.

I recommend the Kardia Mobile Device. Especially for people looking for a portable consumer solution with FDA EKG clearance. From a reputable brand at an affordable price. You can buy this with or without a subscription.

Not all portable consumer EKG devices have FDA EKG Clearance. The Kardia Mobile device solution does. I rate having this as very important.

Where to Buy the Kardia Mobile Device?

Capture your heart EKG. Get an instant result. Use a compatible smartphone or tablet with this small device.

FDA-cleared to detect certain heart rhythms.

Use it almost anywhere anytime, including at home. It’s easy to use.

Meet David Who Runs This Website
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David
Hi, I'm David, the senior editor and senior writer at Work From Home Notes covering products, apps, services, and work from home issues and trends. Prior to launching Work From Home Notes I was an IT professional for over twenty seven years. Now I work from home. Read more.