Research Article| Volume 153, P125-128, August 15, 2021

Usefulness of Mobile Electrocardiographic Devices to Reduce Urgent Healthcare Visits

      Mobile electrocardiogram (mECG) devices are being used increasingly, supplying recordings to providers and providing automatic rhythm interpretation. Given the intermittent nature of certain cardiac arrhythmias, mECGs allow instant access to a recording device. In the current COVID-19 pandemic, efforts to limit in-person patient interactions and avoid overwhelming emergency and inpatient services would add value. Our goal was to evaluate whether a mECG device would reduce healthcare utilization overall, particularly those of urgent nature. We identified a cohort of KardiaMobile (AliveCor, USA) mECG users and compared their healthcare utilization 1 year prior to obtaining the device and 1 year after. One hundred and twenty-eight patients were studied (mean age 64, 47% female). Mean duration of follow-up pre-intervention was 9.8 months. One hundred and twenty-three of 128 individuals completed post-intervention follow-up. Patients were less likely to have cardiac monitors ordered (30 vs 6; p <0.01), outpatient office visits (525 vs 382; p <0.01), cardiac-specific ED visits (51 vs 30; p <0.01), arrhythmia related ED visits (45 vs 20; p <0.01), and unplanned arrhythmia admissions (34 vs 11; p <0.01) in the year after obtaining a KardiaMobile device compared to the year prior to obtaining the device. Mobile technology is available for heart rhythm monitoring and can give feedback to the user. This study showed a reduction of in-person, healthcare utilization with mECG device use. In conclusion, this strategy would be expected to decrease the risk of exposure to patients and providers and would avoid overwhelming emergency and inpatient services.
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