Home monitoring of heart rate and heart rhythm with a smartphone-based ECG in dogs

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Home monitoring of heart rate and heart rhythm with a smartphone-based ECG in dogs

Published 19 August

Vezzosi, T. et al. (2019) Home monitoring of heart rate and heart rhythm with a smartphone-based ECG in dogs. Veterinary Record, 184(3) pp 96-96. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/vr.104917

This paper reports on a small study to assess the feasibility of the home monitoring of heart rate and rhythm in dogs using ECG tracings recorded by owners with a smartphone ECG device (AliveCor Veterinary Heart Monitor along with its software interface AliveECG Vet). Following cardiac evaluation 33 dogs were recruited to the study. Their owners were asked to record serial ECG recordings at home and complete a short questionnaire to assess satisfaction and ease of use of the smartphone ECG device.

Thirty-one owners (94 %) felt that the recording technique was easy to learn and that the smartphone ECG device was easy to use. Fifteen owners (45 %) required a second person to hold the dog during recording. Of the 150 smartphone ECG tracings that were received, 134 (89 %) were interpretable.

This paper was reviewed for InFocus December 2018 which concluded that dog owners found using a smartphone ECG device relatively easy and that the quality of ECG tracings produced was acceptable for interpretation. This suggests that the device may be useful as an additional tool for frequent home monitoring of heart rate and heart rhythm in dogs

While this study does demonstrate the feasibility of owners making ECG recordings at home it does require access to appropriate technology and an initial surgery visit for more detailed cardiac assessment for the animal and training in use of the device for the owner.

Papers assessing the use of smartphone recording of ECG in other species

Published 19 August 2020

Horses

Vezzosi, T. et al. (2018) Evaluation of a smartphone electrocardiograph in healthy horses: comparison with standard base-apex electrocardiography. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 67, pp. 61-65. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2018.03.006

Dairy cows

Bonelli, F. et al. (2019) Comparison of smartphone‐based and standard base‐apex electrocardiography in healthy dairy cows. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 33 (2), pp. 981-986. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvim.15396

Goats

Smith, J.S. et al. (2020) Comparison of standard electrocardiography and smartphone-based electrocardiography recorded at two different anatomic locations in healthy meat and dairy breed does. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 7, p. 416. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.00416

It is important to be aware that not all smartphone apps made available to pet owners provide reliable data.

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