The skeptical cardiologist has been a huge advocate of personal mobile ECG monitoring to empower patient’s in understanding/monitoring their heart rhythm.
Both Apple and AliveCor have gotten FDA approval for their mobile ECG device and have a body of published studies supporting their accuracy.
In contrast, there are a number of “copy-cat” mobile ECG devices which have been feeding on the success of Apple Watch and Kardia but do not have the bona fides the two leaders have.
I reviewed the SonoHealth ECG here and found it sorely lacking in comparison to Kardia in terms of accuracy of diagnosis and quality of recordings, the two most important aspects of a personal ECG monitor.
Dan Field, a physician and reader of my blog, has been evaluating a device similar to the SonoHealth ECG made by Emay.
He has provided a point by point comparison of the two devices in the chart below
“The Kardia6L was clearly superior in almost every way except for price and even that was within the margin of error. ”
It should be noted that the single lead Kardia mobile ECG is actually cheaper than the Emay and retails for $99.
Let The (Mobile ECG) Buyer Beware
I ended my post reviewing SonoHealth’s ECG with a warning which applies equally to the Emay device:
The SonoHealth EKGraph is capable of making a reasonable quality single lead ECG. Presumably all the other devices utilizing the same hardware will work as well.
However, the utility of these devices for consumers and patients lies in the ability of the software algorithms to provide accurate diagnoses of the cardiac rhythm.
Apple Watch 4 and AliveCor’s Kardia mobile ECG do a very good job of sorting out atrial fibrillation from normal rhythm but the SonoHealth EKGraph does a horrible job and should not be relied on for this purpose.
The companies making and selling the EKGraph and similar devices have not done the due diligence Apple and AliveCor have done in making sure their mobile ECG devices are accurate. As far as I can tell this is just an attempt to fool naive patients and consumers by a combination of marketing misinformation and manipulation.
I cannot recommend SonoHealth’s EKGraph or any of the other copycat mobile ECG devices. For a few dollars more consumers can have a proven, reliable mobile ECG device with a solid algorithm for rhythm diagnosis. The monthly subscription fee that AliveCor offers as an option allows permanent storage in the cloud along with the capability to connect via KardiaPro with a physician and is well worth the dollars spent.