Background: Mobile phone apps capable of monitoring arrhythmias and heart rate (HR) are increasingly used for screening, diagnosis, and monitoring of HR and rhythm disorders such as atrial fibrillation (AF). These apps involve either the use of (1) photoplethysmographic recording or (2) a handheld external electrocardiographic recording device attached to the mobile phone or wristband.
Objective: This review seeks to explore the current state of mobile phone apps in cardiac rhythmology while highlighting shortcomings for further research.
Methods: We conducted a narrative review of the use of mobile phone devices by searching PubMed and EMBASE from their inception to October 2018. Potentially relevant papers were then compared against a checklist for relevance and reviewed independently for inclusion, with focus on 4 allocated topics of (1) mobile phone monitoring, (2) AF, (3) HR, and (4) HR variability (HRV).
Results: The findings of this narrative review suggest that there is a role for mobile phone apps in the diagnosis, monitoring, and screening for arrhythmias and HR. Photoplethysmography and handheld electrocardiograph recorders are the 2 main techniques adopted in monitoring HR, HRV, and AF.
Conclusions: A number of studies have demonstrated high accuracy of a number of different mobile devices for the detection of AF. However, further studies are warranted to validate their use for large scale AF screening.
Keywords: arrhythmia; atrial fibrillation; electrocardiography; heart rate; mobile health; mobile phone apps; photoplethysmography.
©Ka Hou Christien Li, Francesca Anne White, Timothy Tipoe, Tong Liu, Martin CS Wong, Aaron Jesuthasan, Adrian Baranchuk, Gary Tse, Bryan P Yan. Originally published in JMIR Mhealth and Uhealth (http://mhealth.jmir.org), 15.02.2019.