If there is one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, humans, it is the importance of our health and wellness. There is no denial from the fact that our lifestyles have changed completely and whilst we were locked inside our homes during the lockdown. Most of us took the onus to retrospect on our health and work on it holistically. From physical fitness to mental wellbeing, it all started to make sense.
No, it doesn’t show time But to achieve optimum health and keep a track of it we need tools to measure it constantly or at regular intervals. Sure, we have wearables like smart fitness bands and smartwatches to tell us about our heart rate, remind us to take a deep breath or have water, some can even do EGG and share EKG reports. And the latest Apple Watch Series 6 trumps it all with an in-built Blood Oxygen Monitor apart from the plethora of sensors it already had.
So recently when the doctor advised my dad to keep a regular check of his health and get an ECG done regularly. I started looking for devices that could make it happen without visiting a test centre or a hospital during the pandemic. The first thing that came to my mind was a smartwatch with an ECG feature. But not everybody wears a smartwatch, and my dad is one of them who is still not ready to part ways with his heirloom just yet. With limited options at hand, I started looking for alternatives and that is when I came across KardiaMobile by AliveCor, a pocket-sized ECG sensor could detect heart disease, anxiety and more.
So, what does it do and how does it work?
I heart it
Believe it or not, KardiaMobile is the only personal ECG monitor in the World that can detect AFib above 120 beats per minute and below 40 beats per minute. That is tachycardia (unusually high heart rate) and bradycardia (unusually low heart rate) in flat 30 seconds on a tiny smartphone accessory.
All you have to do is download the Kardia app on your Android or iOS smartphone. Then simply keep both your thumbs on the sensors of the KardiaMobile device for an ECG report in 30 seconds. And, if you want a detailed 6-lead ECG report then keep both your thumbs on the sensor on each side while touching the bottom sensor on your thigh or ankle.
You can then share the report with your doctor in a PDF format or print it out.
The app offers multiple users and device support. Users can add multiple Kardia EKG devices and even OMRON blood pressure monitors on the app. There is also a KardiaCare premium membership for $9.99/month or $99/year for users to get a monthly heart health report, automatic EKG sharing with selected contacts or your doctor, Medication tracking and cloud storage for all the reports. If the 6L is too steep for your pockets, Alivecor also has a slightly stripped-down version of it called the KardiaMobile which is priced at ₹8,500.
It is a testimony of innovation and science that a 9 cm device can detect the 3 most common heart arrhythmias: atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, tachycardia in just 30 seconds. Whilst the brand has just entered India, it has been shipping to 30 countries with over 80 million ECG’s taken worldwide. That said it is not for everyone as a single-lead ECG smartwatch or device can suffice for most people. But if you have been prescribed, have a health condition or history of heart-related issues then it is a worthy investment.