Application of the Alivecor KardiaMobile smartphone modulated ECG device for use in horses
Keywords:smartphone, electrocardiography, horse, Alivecor KardiaMobile, intercostal, tracing, waveform, Bland–Altman
Electrocardiography is the method used to monitor the electrical impulses in the heart. These diagnostics are increasingly making use of smartphone-based technologies.
The objective of this research was to determine whether the Alivecor KardiaMobile (ECGAKM) smartphone-modulated electrocardiographic device, a novel ECG device, can be used to obtain reliable electrocardiogram (ECG) readings in horses.
The device was initially tested in 36 Nooitgedacht pony mares to determine the best site of application, method of skin preparation, and ECGAKM device orientation for reliable ECG tracings. Once the most reliable site for ECG acquisition was determined, the device was then applied, in this manner, to 31 Nooitgedacht pony mares and compared with a standard telemetric ECG system (ECGTV).
The ECGAKM device was best applied in the fourth intercostal space on the left hemithorax in a vertical orientation and with the skin dampened with 70% ethanol. Mean values determined for RR and QT intervals between the ECGAKM and ECGTV were not significantly different, however, mean values for the duration of the QRS complexes were significantly different for the two devices. There is acceptable agreement between the ECGTV and ECGAKM devices with regards to the measurement of the PQ; RR and QT intervals but not the QRS duration. The automatically calculated heart rate is not an accurate measure of true heart rate.
The Alivecor KardiaMobile (ECGAKM) device can be considered as a simplified screening ECG device in situations where the more standardised system is either unavailable or impractical, but has some limitations.