Mobile Health for Arrhythmia Diagnosis and Management

Jayson R. Baman*, Daniel T. Mathew, Michael Jiang, Rod S. Passman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Palpitations are a common symptom managed by general practitioners and cardiologists; atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia in adults. The recent commercial availability of smartphone-based devices and wearable technologies with arrhythmia detection capabilities has revolutionized the diagnosis and management of these common medical issues, as it has placed the power of arrhythmia detection into the hands of the patient. Numerous mobile health (mHealth) devices that can detect, record, and automatically interpret irregularities in heart rhythm and abrupt changes in heart rate using photoplethysmography (PPG)- and electrocardiogram-based technologies are now commercially available. As opposed to prescription-based external rhythm monitoring approaches, these devices are more inexpensive and allow for longer-term monitoring, thus increasing sensitivity for arrhythmia detection, particularly for patients with infrequent symptoms possibly due to cardiac arrhythmias. These devices can be used to correlate symptoms with cardiac arrhythmias, assess efficacy and toxicities of arrhythmia therapies, and screen the population for serious rhythm disturbances such as AF. Although several devices have received clearance for AF detection from the United States Food & Drug Administration, limitations include the need for ECG confirmation for arrhythmias detected by PPG alone, false positives, false negatives, charging requirements for the battery, and financial cost. In summary, the growth of commercially available devices for remote, patient-facing rhythm monitoring represents an exciting new opportunity in the care of patients with palpitations and known or suspected dysrhythmias. Physicians should be familiar with the evidence that underlies their added value to patient care and, importantly, their current limitations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Arrhythmia
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Palpitations
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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