AliveCor Launches Credit Card Sized ECG Device: I Want One in My Wallet

Today, AliveCor announced today that it is launching the KardiaMobile Card. This appears to be quite an amazing device.

AliveCor, the leading innovator in FDA-cleared personal electrocardiogram (ECG) technology, today announced the launch of KardiaMobile Card, the slimmest, most convenient personal ECG device ever created. At the size of a standard credit card, KardiaMobile Card fits easily into any wallet and delivers a medical-grade, single-lead ECG in 30 seconds. KardiaMobile Card makes history as the world’s first credit-card-sized ECG ever cleared by the FDA.   

It is clearly the thinnest, lightest ECG device ever created. I haven’t gotten my hands on one but AliveCor says it will fit in a wallet, which means (for those of us still carrying wallets) we can have it with us at all times with minimal planning. As long as you have a smartphone with you as well you can make single-lead ECG recordings which per AliveCor will have the same quality as their larger devices and will be able to detect atrial fibrillation, PVCs, and PACs.

Here’s some more info from the press release

KardiaMobile Card pairs with a smartphone using Bluetooth technology to detect six of the most common arrhythmias, more than any other personal ECG on the market. KardiaMobile Card users also have access to cardiologist analyses of ECGs, monthly heart health reports, and automatic sharing of ECG recordings. The device’s algorithm is based on AliveCor’s AI-enabled Kardia technology, which has been evaluated by more than 170 peer-reviewed studies. Designed to resist weather, water, and wear and tear, KardiaMobile Card is AliveCor’s most portable and durable ECG available, allowing users to take an ECG recording anytime, anywhere.

The KM Card comes with 1-year access to KardiaCare, the heart health service that offers more than 130,000 members a suite of advanced features to help them better manage and understand their heart health. KardiaCare includes ECG evaluations by board-certified cardiologists, monthly reports that summarize ECG and blood pressure data, automatic sharing of ECG recordings with caregivers, and the ability to detect a broader range of heart conditions.

KardiaMobile Card with KardiaCare is available for purchase at kardia.com for just $149.

I’ll write a review of the KM Card as soon as I get my hands on one.

Skeptically Yours,

-ACP

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26 thoughts on “AliveCor Launches Credit Card Sized ECG Device: I Want One in My Wallet”

  1. Having a family history of heart diseases, seriously considering this. Being fed up with large number of inconclusives on my Apple Watch ECG. Apple Heart Study showed it can detect other arrhythmias, not only AFib, but they are not using it, despite having a new FDA clearance.

    Reply
    • Tom,
      Have you read my post on inconclusives from the AW ECG? I have a recommended solution. Send an example to me at drp@theskepticalcardiologist.com and I’ll let you know if my solution might work.
      If, however, the AW ECG is confused by PVCs or PACs the kardia may do a better job.
      I was unaware of AW having clearance for other arrhythmias. Do you have a reference on that
      Dr P

      Reply
  2. After a couple of nights of rapid beating and “fluttering”, spaced a couple of months apart, I’m just now trying to choose between Kardia devices. The $149 Card comes with a 1 yr KardiaCare subscription (1 yr normally $99) so if I’m reading it right, the Card price is very attractive. But it’s so new I can’t yet find any user reviews yet.

    Reply
  3. I’m an A-Fibber with CAD and have owned the KardiaMobile and the 6L. What I like about them is they provide tracings from which a great deal of information can be learned. For example, for a non cardiology reason I was recently given a medication. It had a black box warning re prolonged QTc intervals that the primary seems to have missed. I picked up on a jump in mine QTC from a borderline time to one approaching danger and the medication was stopped. Yes, the Kardiaobile 6L did flag a wide QRS but it is not approved to determine a QTC.

    Reply
  4. I just finished an online chat with AliveCor’s customer service regarding questions I had on their new KardiaMobile Card. I alsked how it is powered and was told it has an internal battery that lasts 9-12 months and it is replaceable, although I can’t see from the photos how to replace the battery.

    I also asked if can I buy the KardiaMobile Card separartely at a reduced price as I already have a KardiCare membership. I was told no so I assume I would let my current KardiCare membership run out and not renew it.

    Reply
    • Christopher,
      Good info!
      On Twitter a reader suggested that the KardiaCare membership was necessary. Previously, Kardia devices record and detect atrial fibrillation or sinus without Kardia Care or other subscription. Did they indicate if that would be the same with the Kard (I think they should use that term for it)?
      The KardiaCare subscription has always been an option for Advanced Determinations.
      Dr P

      Reply
      • When I posted the above yesterday there wasn’t any technical data available yet on AliveCor’s website on the KardiaMobile Card. Today there is a link to the technical specs and user manual.

        Contrary to what their customer service rep told me it appears the internal battery will last about 2 years and it IS NOT replaceable. That means you either have to buy a new one or perhaps the cost of a new one is free if you renew you annual KardiaCare membership. It is not clearly explained on their website. Here is what is stated: “KardiaMobile Card is only available with an annual KardiaCare membership. You will be automatically renewed after the first year and charged $99/year. Your device will work for the lifetime of your membership. Limited to one plan per purchase.” https://store.kardia.com/products/kardiamobile-card

        User Manual – https://www.kardia.com/ifus/kardiamobile-card/21LB01.01-en.pdf

        Key points:

        “Device contains a lithium manganese dioxide battery that is not removable or replaceable”

        “Powered by a non-replaceable battery”

        “Do not use with a cardiac pacemaker, ICDs, or other implanted electronic devices”

        Reply
        • Christopher,
          Per Dr. Albert of AliveCor
          “The battery will last at least 2 years, it is not replaceable and if you have a currently active subscription and your battery dies, you will be sent a replacement card at no additional cost.”
          Dr P

          Reply
          • I received my new KardiaMobile Card in today’s mail. I like it a lot. I compared the readings alongside my original KardiaMobile using advanced determinations and my KardiaMobile 6L. The readings of all three devices correlate exactly.

            It’s great to be able to put the KardiaMobile Card in my wallet which is why I bought it. I keep it between a couple of credit cards so it stays protected from bending. The power shuts off automatically after 10 seconds of no use so I don’t have to worry about remembering to turn it off and inadvertently running down the internal battery.

            I’ve used the 6L 6-lead device regularly since they first became available and it does give more information, but in my case I never found having more information to be of real value over the single lead device. I also found the 6L to be bothersome in the aspect that I either had to pull up one pant leg or pull down a sock to be able to take a 6-lead reading.

            Reply
  5. Self exam:
    Is it really helpful for one to track one’s vital innards SO closely?
    It strikes me that these amazing devices might well lead one to behavior that becomes counter-productive. Compulsive self-examination is a recipe for near paranoid anxiety leading to… um… increased hypertension? Arrhythmia?
    OK, sure, if one has a serious arrhythmia problem, see to it. Get an implantable – on all the time with zero lag time. Discuss results in depth with one’s EP as to appropriate actions one might take including, of course, doing nothing.

    https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/957512

    Reply
    • Jeff,
      By your logic we should stop patients from using home BP cuffs, something I find supremely beneficial in empowering patients to better understand and control hypertension. Indeed, there are some patients (a small minority) who become obsessed with their BP measurement. We work with them and calm them down. Same thing with personal ECG devices.
      I have sent very few patients for implantable loop recorders. They provide lots of noise and I see them as useful mostly for the patient with intermittent syncope. Loop recorders generate lots of money for the EP doctors implanting them and charging for the monthly report and add little value.
      Dr P

      Reply
      • Dr. P.
        What is your estimation of the cost/benefit of those two-week stick-on monitors such as ZIO?
        I’ve worn ZIO on two occasions. It was reassuring both times. I did not need to monitor anything myself. No need to worry that I was doing everything right. Got final independent results for 14 continuous days each time. The arrhythmia episodes that I noticed turned up in the final report.
        See, I knew I had been having some episodes and worry over them made them worse – but not so much during the ZIO period. There is that mind/body interrelationship that’s so easy to forget about.
        I know my symptoms now. I understand my body better. I’ve learned how to live in equanimity with what my body deals me, within reason.
        Shouldn’t that be what this technology provides us rather than a continuing dependence on it per se?
        Part of the treatment for a sprained ankle is the timely confiscation of the crutches.
        BP is a bit different in that elevations are so silent. Periodic monitoring seems appropriate.

        Reply
        • Jeff,
          I love the patch monitors. My office uses Preventice or Bardy. I’m not sure what the costs are but with insurance most patients end up paying little if the monitoring is indicated/approved.I tend to use these for one week.
          In terms of recognizing the symptoms and understanding the body I think that Kardia type devices are better because when you feel a symptom you get instantaneous feedback. For many of my AFIB patients who did not recognize when they are in AFIB, Kardia allows them to learn the subtle clues.
          Even with Kardia feedback many patients are totally asymptomatic with their AFIB and a regular check with Kardia gives us early warning of recurrent AFIB
          Dr P

          Reply
          • Now that’s really interesting! I cannot imagine asymptomatic AF. Mine was always quite violent; always resulted in most of a liter of urine every half hour. Atrial Natriuretic Peptide.
            Of course, everyone is different, making the practical application of RCT findings to individuals somewhat problematic, but are there different manifestations of AF as well? Sources other than pulmonary veins might present different symptoms?
            Are there patient characteristics that might predict the degree of recognizable symptoms?

            Reply
  6. $149 then $99 per year subscription. Ugh. Health Savings Account needs to go somewhere I suppose.
    This does look like an amazing little device. Should a 46.5 YO male with a lengthy list of family history of heart failure, artery clogs, massive heart attacks of essentially his entire mother’s side of the family, and one Aunt on his father’s side, but with no current issues personally (yearly wellness checks and blood tests with GP, “numbers look good” elevated cholesterol but just below “problem” zone, some “good” cholesterol in there too) sign up? Not obese, physically fit, non- smoker (some indiscretions in my teens and 20’s), quite drinking alcohol after plenty, full on coffee guy, some problems with snacking, but lots of salad, oh and butter thanks to you. Asking for a friend. Haha. JK it’s me and my family. My Mom’s Dad died at 49 after multiple heart attacks. Her older brother at 72 but he was lucky to make it that long after a quintuple bypass at 47, and all kinds of interventions leading upto his death. Other issues with siblings. My Mom (77) has coronary heart disease, 2 arteries at 50%, 1 at 40% blockage. My grandma lived to 92 but had blocked coronary artery. Endarterectomy. Open heart surgery. Every time I go over that list, I get a strange feeling in my chest!
    I’m excited to take advantage of some of the goods that the health tech and science sector are poised to offer to the masses, and I’m willing to pay, but only if it’s accurate and smart. My hunch is yes, as I have a family history, and its data to add to my blood tests for my GP to analyze. Is this tech something I can use when I’m out in the backcountry hiking or skinning up a mountain side? Or more sitting at the computer writing Dr. P? All the above?
    Hey, I finally did it Dr. P. I laid out my heart “issues” on your blog!! I feel like I arrived.

    Reply
  7. I want a watch that gives me an IMMEDIATE rhythm strip without touching my Android phone. Many arrhythmias are brief so speed is essential !!
    30 seconds is way too long to get started.

    Reply
    • Robert,
      AliveCor device once app is opened and record ECG button clicked begins recording immediately. It records for 30 seconds before stopping and applying the algorithm for diagnosis.
      Apple watch is faster to begin the recording (especially if you have the icon on your watch face..for me that takes about 6 seconds) but also records for 30 seconds before yielding the diagnosis.
      Does 6 seconds count as immediate?
      dr P

      Reply
      • Note my comment specified ANDROID. I would like to touch my watch at any time and see th EKG strip. Takes 2 seconds.

        I don’t do Apple

        rk0

        Reply
        • I saw ANDROID!
          So are you saying that if you could get the process started in 2 seconds you would consider that immediate?
          And your symptoms pass in less than 2 seconds?
          Dr P

          Reply
          • I’m a MD with PAF. I feel the start and monitor with pulse rate to finish, usually within 24 hrs. Also have PAC which I feel with the pause. Occasional I haveSVT (very regular) and lasts a few seconds. I feel them with my pulse but would like to SEE them.

            Reply
  8. I have both AliveCor devises; since likely close to the release the 2-pad model. However, I have become a skeptic. In the two (of many) instances I took AFib results to my cardiologist and primary, neither saw any evidence in the AC scans nor were able to duplicate the results with their office EKG machines.

    Reply
  9. Looks very good.

    I have been rooting for AliveCor as I have seen so many single-purpose products (and categories) get swallowed up by Apple, and the the spaces left behind are often not as well-served with the all-in-one replacement Apple provides.

    AliveCor is a better product, and I hope it continues to be available.

    Reply

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