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15+ Powerful Ways to Monitor Heart Health & Share with Your Doctor [2023]



Heart disease is the number one cause of death globally, according to the World Health Organisation. And stroke, which is often preceded by atrial fibrillation, is ranked second. These figures have increased disproportionately since COVID, for a variety of reasons currently under review.


In a perfect world, we'd have a medical professional nearby who’d be able to check up on us whenever we needed. But most likely, on average, we’ll visit a doctor 5-6 times per year, including following recommendations for proactive health and heart checks.


In the meantime, while our hearts beat around 100,000 times per day (approx. 36 million times per year), we have the option to track various heart data at home to give us valuable insight. These devices also can help us track and reduce risk factors for heart disease, such as exercise, sleep, and weight.


It can be helpful to start with why you'd want to better understand your heart. Do you want to reduce risk factors; increase knowledge or identify conditions early; share with your doctor what's happening between visits; be notified or notify others with alerts; or motivate and improve fitness?


Sometimes, at a human level people choose not to be more empowered and self-educated. Maybe we don't want to over think what is or isn't happening, assume our doctor has the data they need, or thinking that the devices available aren't accurate.

On a positive note, there is a lot we can do, says Professor Steve Nicholls, director of the Victorian Heart Hospital.

“We know the major risk factors for heart disease. We know that’s high blood pressure, it’s high cholesterol, it’s diabetes, it’s smoking, it’s obesity, and it’s a family history. You can’t do anything about your family history, but you can do something about everything else.”

For most things in life, we increase our knowlege to make better decisions - like researching a house, bank, holiday, or school. Daily, we also get data to help us, whether it's the weather, traffic, or GPS directions. Given the importance of our hearts, it may make sense to be more informed and empowered with that data too.


Types of devices we've addressed in this article include:

  • Wearables

  • Easily Carried/Portable

  • Home Testing (Self, Carers, or Family)

Here's the list.

  1. Apple Watch - Top wearable for overall health data including heart measures

  2. Withings Move ECG & Scan Watch - Top wearable for analog design and ease of testing

  3. HeartGuide by Omron - A wearable by one of the world's leading dedicated blood pressure monitor brands, one of the few wearables with an inflatable blood pressure strap/cuff

  4. Qardiocore Wearable ECG - Chest strap with excellent design, accuracy, and guidance; used among the medical and sports medicine communities

  5. Samsung Watch 5 - A reputable brand, and Android wearable

  6. Fitbit Sense - For Fitbit fans

  7. KardiaMobile & Kardia Mobile Card - Best non-wearable, dedicated heart device for portability and testing on the go

  8. Qardio Arm - Excellent design, accuracy, guidance to interpret, multi-user, used by doctors

  9. Duo ECG & Digital Stethoscope - A new type of device, strength in doctor-patient monitoring

  10. EMay Portable ECG Monitor - Simple, low-cost consumer device, popular with consumers

  11. Pulsebit EX Personal ECG - Small handheld, dedicated device testing a range of heart measures

  12. Heartsine Lightweight Defibrillator - Handy and portable if you want a defib on hand

  13. Withings BPM Connect & Core (+ ECG) - Good all rounder for home or to carry

  14. Smart Blood Pressure Monitor BP + EKG - Good design, easy to read, store on device or phone

  15. AirBP Blood Pressure Monitor - Simple design, wirefree blood pressure monitor

  16. 24hr ECG Recorder with AI Analysis - Advanced artificial intelligence to help identify multiple heart conditions (FDA approved)

Images of different heart tech devices

Always consult your doctor, follow advice, and read the product information from the provider carefully. None of these devices nor the information contained in this article is intended to replace medical advice from your doctor. Irregular or inaccurate results may occur. Devices should not be relied on as life-saving devices.


At the end of this article we explain how we chose the devices, and what different kinds of heart health measures there are (eg. blood pressure, heart rate, ECG, Afib etc).

 

Wearables


Wearable devices have the benefit of being with you all the time, capturing heart activity, and usually offer some related functionality such as tracking activity, blood oxygen, stress, sleep, detecting falls or making calls.



The Apple Watch is one of the most advanced smartwatches in the world, with acclaimed features for tracking heart rate and taking an ECG.

What we like

  • Easy to wear

  • Notifications for irregularities

  • Helpful related functionality such as tracking blood oxygen, sleep, breathing, activity, fall detection, and emergency calls

  • ECG feature approved by FDA and authorities in many countries, with verified accuracy in clinical studies

  • Highly rated and reviewed with stories and testimonials

  • You can also try an app like Cardiogram on an Apple or Android device, including a family or doctor version where they can look in and share the data in near real-time.


How to

  • Test: See how to take heart rate here, or take an ECG here

  • Share: View your stored history here, and click the share symbol to send the pdf by message, email, or Airdrop.


2. Withings Move ECG Watch & ScanWatch


These two devices can be worn throughout the day, with the long-life battery making it more convenient and suitable for those unlikely to keep the battery charged. Move ECG has ECG reading. ScanWatch detects irregular heartbeat (no ECG).


Withings reports it’s ScanWatch ‘Is the world’s first clinically validated hybrid smartwatch to detect atrial fibrillation overnight breathing disturbances and measure oxygen saturation’.


What we like

  • Nicely designed, unobtrusive smartwatch and Health Mate app

  • [Move] Battery life up to 12 months [Scanwatch] up to 30 days

  • Withings ScanWatch tests for an irregular heartbeat. Simple to test at any time, which is helpful as an irregular heartbeat occur at any time

  • Withings Move ECG watches have undertaken positive clinical trials, are approved in some markets (e.g. TGA in Australia), and awaiting FDA approval in the USA.

  • Established presence and commitment in this device range

  • Highly rated and reviewed by customers

How to

  • Test: If you feel palpitations or an irregular heart rhythm, press the side button and place your finger on the bezel. For the Move ECG, to take your ECG, press the side button, then hold the stainless steel ring on the top case for 30 seconds. The subdial will count down the remaining time and the watch will gently vibrate at the end of the measurement. You can record an ECG with or without your phone nearby—as data can be stored in the watch until the next sync.

  • Share: When viewing the results, select a PDF of your heart’s activity to share with your doctor.



HeartGuide is a clinically accurate, wearable blood pressure monitor available in the U.S and awaiting release in other countries. It differs from other smartwatches as the band literally inflates like a blood pressure cuff. The design involved more than 80 new patents.

What we like

  • Easily worn throughout the day and night giving greater insight

  • Battery life approx. 2 days

  • FDA-approved medical-grade blood pressure monitor, using the oscillometric method, which will inflate the cuff around the radial artery in your wrist to obtain a reading

  • Helpful tools to understand heart health and the direct effects your daily lifestyle has on your health, such as color-coded heart rate indicators and comparison to current American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines

  • Data can be shared with Apple Health, Google Fit, or Samsung Health

  • Stores up to 100 readings on the device

  • Omron is considered one of the top Blood Pressure Monitor Brands globally


How to

  • Test: Follow the instructions to ensure the watch is well-fitted, and press the blue button to start. Watch the video or see quick start instructions.

  • Share: Open the App and select to share


QardioCore is a wearable electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) monitor, designed to improve detection and monitoring of cardiac conditions while fitting into your daily life.


What we like


  • Portable, easy and accurate, without wires, cables, pads, or gels

  • Award-winning product design including comfort and splashproof for monitoring health during sports performance

  • Focus on clinical accuracy, FDA & CE approved device, with strong engagement with the medical community and doctors

  • Gives specific heart readings as well as capturing overall health context, with features including continuous Wireless ECG, Skin temperature, Heart Rate, Heart Rate Variability, Respiratory Rate, and Activity Tracking

  • Realtime sharing analysis

  • Works with Apple Health


How To:

  • To Setup - Download the Qardio App The Qardio App on App Store, Play or Kindle, set up an account or sign in to the App. It's especially important to fit the device correctly, so read those instructions carefully. (See instructions for setting up QardioArm later in this list)

  • Take a Measurement - When you wear a fully charged QardioCore, it will automatically start recording your electrocardiogram after approximately one minute. To View ECG data, Simply press the ECG icon while in the QardioCore section of the Qardio App to see your ECG trace and heart rate data.

  • To Share with your Doctor or Family - To share your history with your doctor open the Qardio App and click the HISTORY button on the bottom of your screen. Then select the share icon in the upper right-hand corner. It will take you to a new screen where you can enter your doctor's name and email address. You can add a note to give greater context to your data. Simply push send, and your doctor will receive a CSV file of your blood pressure and heart rate history, with useful charts and graphs of your trends. If your doctor would like to view your measurements in real-time from his office as you take them you can also invite them to follow your progress. Your doctor can even be notified each time you take a new measurement.



The Samsung Watch 5 is an appealing choice for those who don’t want an Apple Watch. A strong multifunction watch with approved ECG readings that’s relatively easy to master.


What we like

  • A well-designed device by one of the technology leaders. Available in two face sizes and with various watch strap options

  • Related features include 24/7 heart rate monitor, sleep quality tracker, blood pressure monitor, blood oxygen levels sensor, stress levels monitor, fall detection, and GPS

  • Can function as a standalone device (doesn’t require a phone)

  • Battery life approx. 2 days

  • FDA-approved ECG in September 2020

  • Android-based however also works with Apple devices


How To:

  • Setup and Test: Open the Samsung Health Monitor app while seated comfortably, and ensure the watch is fitted firmly to the wrist. Rest forearm on a flat surface and lightly place a fingertip from the opposite hand on the top button on the smartwatch for 30 seconds. The app will then measure the heart rate and rhythm, which will be displayed as either a Sinus Rhythm (a normal, regular heartbeat) or AFib (when the heart beats irregularly). Watch this short video to see how to take a reading.

  • Share: You can view, delete, manage and share results and information on the connected smartphone’s Health Monitor app.


6. Fitbit Sense


The Fitbit Sense is more of a health-tracking device than the fully-featured smartwatch such as the Apple Watch.


What we like

  • Functionality at a lower price point

  • Fitbit uses an ECG App in conjunction with the watch hardware

  • FDA-approved ECG capability

  • Related health functionality tracking measures like heart rate, steps, breathing

  • Fitbit has a strong commitment to this space, with established technology, support, and products, for example, should other feature variations be preferred across the product range

How to:

  • Test: In the Fitbit app, tap Health Assessments & Reports then Heart Rhythm Assessment, and follow the instructions. After you complete the Heart Rhythm Assessment introduction, you can take an ECG reading. Open the ECG app on your Fitbit wrist-worn product, follow the instructions. Put your index finger and thumb on the metal corners of your Fitbit wrist-worn product as shown on the screen. Continue to hold the corners until the countdown is complete. Read more detailed steps here.

  • Share: From the Discover tab in the Fitbit app, tap Health Assessments & Reports then Heart Rhythm Assessment. Tap View Results to see a list of all your previous results. Within each result, tap Export a PDF for your doctor to download the report. You’ll receive a notification when your report is ready.


 

Easily Carried / Portable


These devices have the benefit of being small and portable, thereby being able to be close at hand to test when and wherever you feel you need to.



KardiaMobile is easily carried and enables the user to take a medical-grade EKG anytime. In 30 seconds, it’s possible to detect Atrial Fibrillation, Bradycardia, Tachycardia, or Normal heart rhythm.


What we like

  • Well designed and easily attached to your phone or with the carry case

  • Easy to use and share the data, including options in the app, or additional subscription services to send to your home, family, or medical specialist

  • Works with a range of Apple iOS and Android devices including mobiles, tablets, and the Apple Watch. It can operate without a cellular service provider.

  • Good price point

  • FDA Approved with equivalent approvals in other countries, for example, TGA

  • Well reviewed and rated by users for peace of mind, and trusted by cardiologists


How to

  • Test: Open the phone app, and tap "Record your EKG", then choose KardiaMobile as your recording device. Move through the flow until prompted to record. When ready, place two or more fingers (it doesn’t matter which ones) from each hand on the electrodes for 30 seconds to start the timer. Hold still until the countdown completes and the recording is done.

  • Review & Share: The result appears on the screen, alternatively, visit the History tab and scroll down to see the recording of interest. Tap the share icon. There are also options to download PDF, print from your device, notify your inner circle, or a paid subscription to upload and have it reviewed by a clinician. See instructions.


The QardioArm wireless blood pressure monitor measures your systolic, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate and has irregular heartbeat detection.


What we like


  • Well-designed, light and portal

  • Measures systolic, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate and has irregular heartbeat detection.

  • FDA-approved and clinically validated to meet US and European standards. QardioArm is a regulated medical device: FDA-cleared, European CE-marked, Canadian CE-marked, and Australian TGA cleared

  • Easy to pair, use, and interpret results including charts, graphs, and GPS tagging

  • Available on Apple/iOS, Android, Kindle, and Apple Watch

  • Features for sharing with your doctor, and family and setting family notifications

  • Supports multiple users' data to be collected, choosing "visitor mode" for friends and family.

  • Ability to add notes, set reminders, and geo/GPS tag the reading

  • To demonstrate the ongoing feature investments in this product, you can view photos from your photo library during the reading to help you relax, and you can add the Alexa skill and authorize your app data to be shared by voice. Eg. " What was my latest blood pressure?"


How To:

  • To Setup - Download the Qardio App The Qardio App on App Store, Play or Kindle, set up an account, or sign in to the App. Then fit the device, make sure Bluetooth turned on, and press the grey button. See video.

  • Take a Measurement - Fit the device to your arm, open the app, and press start. There's the option to turn on Visitor mode (to not store the measurement in your own history if you are checking a friend or family member).

  • To Use Your Apple Watch to View Blood Pressure Data from Qardio - Open the Qardio app on your Apple Watch and tap the START button. Do this after you have fitted your QardioArm on your left upper arm, ready to inflate. The START button on your Apple Watch will initiate the measurement. You can also check your measurement history and set up reminders via your Apple Watch.



The DUO ECG can be used both by clinicians as a day-to-day stethoscope, or by patients at home for longer-term self-monitoring when prescribed by a physician. This device combines a digital stethoscope and ECG in a single handheld device.


What we like

  • Streamlined design, pocket-sized

  • 10-hour battery life, or 1-year standby

  • Medical grade ECG testing or checking for arrhythmias and murmurs with results in 15 seconds

  • May be used by clinicians in rooms, for home visits, or via telehealth.

  • For telehealth, the ability to see and hear heart, lung, and bowel sounds and ECG in real-time to aid decision-making

  • Live stream ECG and body sounds from your mobile device, Up to 32x amplified heart, lung, and bowel sounds

  • Save unlimited recordings to chronicle a patient’s history or monitor disease progression

  • Securely share recordings for a second opinion or referral in just a few seconds

  • FDA-cleared, HIPAA-compliant, encrypted and SOC 2 compliant


How to


10. EMAY Portable ECG Monitor (iPhone, Android, Mac & Windows)


EMAY Portable ECG Monitor is a wireless, personal heart health monitor with Bluetooth capability to track your EKG rhythm and heart rate whenever you feel discomfort or want peace of mind.


What we like

  • A simple device, highly rated and reviewed

  • Compact size that you can carry around in a pocket.

  • Record 30 seconds rhythm and heart rate between two hands without cables.

  • Works with iOS/Android App via Bluetooth to transfer, review, store, print, and share professional reports

  • Easy operation in four positions. Does not require wires/cables.

  • Battery operated

  • This device is not FDA-approved. Like all devices listed here, it should not be used as a medical device and offers diagnostic assistance only.


How to

  • Test & Share: Turn on the device and place your fingers/hands on the sensors. You'll see the EKG waveform during the 30-second recording process. Sharing is possible via the downloadable app which syncs automatically and allows options to store, review and share.



This device is a compact, handheld form with the option of cables or cable-free.


What we like

  • Take noise-free EKG with cable and reusable electro pads, or you can take EKG cable-free on your palm

  • Helps detect Arrhythmia, Heart Pause, Atrial Fibricular (AF), Tachycardia & Bradycardia

  • Available in single or dual-user mode, dual-user mode makes it easy to store and review the history data of two users respectively

  • Battery run time approx. 500 tests.

  • Set reminders to test regularly

  • Unlimited storage in your phone App, compatible with Apple/iOS and Android


How to

  • Test: Tap the Monitor ECG button on the home screen, choose the method (A or B - ie. handheld or chest strap), and follow the instructions. See user guide.

  • Share: Use the Share icon when reviewing results directly or via history



This device is not for testing, but rather a compact defibrillator to respond to sudden cardiac arrest.


What we like


Sudden Cardiac Arrest is experienced by hundreds of thousands of people each year, with the survival rate currently (when occurring out of hospital) being around 10%. The most common setting is a home (70%), a public place (15%), or aged care (15%).

  • This is a portable, lightweight, fairly low-cost device - increasing the chance that it might be reachable when a Cardiac Arrest occurs.

  • Easy-to-understand visual and a voice prompt will guide you or the rescuer through the entire resuscitation process.

  • This defib will only deliver a shock if the person is in Cardiac Arrest.

  • It may be added comfort for people or settings where the risk of heart attack is heightened


 

Home Testing (Self, Carers, or for Family)


These devices may be placed somewhere convenient at home. They may be combined with setting a reminder to test consistently, helpful during recovery or a telehealth appointment, or with the assistance of a visiting family member or carer to capture and share what's happening over time.


13. Withings BPM Connect and CORE (with ECG)


Withings has two strong devices for monitoring the heart - the BPM Connect and BPM Core. Both have the same design and features except the BPM Core can also take an ECG and listen to the heart via a digital stethoscope.

What we like

  • Nicely designed with quality materials and carry case accessories

  • Medically accurate systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate measurements with immediate feedback on the device in the Heart-mate app

  • 6month battery life

  • Easily tested, stored, and shared including support for multi-users

  • Color-coded feedback based on the ESH and the AHA recommendations for hypertension

  • FDA-cleared, and compliant with European medical device standards.

  • Positive reviews and stories have been provided by thousands of customers for BPM Connect. (The BPM Core has a well-rated ECG capability though mixed reviews for the stethoscope component)


How to

  • Test: Watch the video here

  • Share: Use the Health-mate app, and tap the share icon



The Wellue Smart Blood Pressure Monitor with EKG measures blood pressure (systolic and diastolic pressure) and pulse rate.


What we like

  • Compact and portable, in one piece without cords or wires

  • Easy to use and understand, including color-coded graphs of trends and range guidelines

  • Connects to Apple/iOS or Android mobile app via Bluetooth where you can view your real-time stats and historical trend graphs, including both blood pressure and EKG data

  • Built-in memory enables 60 readings to be stored on the device display, independently of the App

  • FDA Cleared


How to

  • Test: By holding the device with your hands on both sides, you can have the EKG results within 30 seconds. Turn on the monitor and run the ViHealth App. From the dashboard, start to take an ECG recording on the monitor, and the ECG waveform will be displayed on the App simultaneously. The recording will take 30 seconds.

  • Share: When viewing the results in the ViHealth App, click the share icon.




This blood pressure monitor is simple to use and handy for use among members of the family.


What we like

  • A lightweight and portable device, easy to use, read and store readings

  • Relevant for families as it stores multi-user and the cuff fits small and large arms

  • A fully charged battery can record 1000 measurements without further charge

  • Measures Blood Pressure, Pulse Rate, Mean Arterial Pressure, Pulse Pressure

  • Medically Accurate, FDA approved and meets the US and European standards

  • Ability to store long-term trends and log notes and record your mood or activity with each measurement


How to

  • Test: Place the cuff on, open the AirBP App, and follow the instructions in the App

  • Share: When viewing the results in the app, or the history, use the share icon.


16. Oxylink™ Wearable Pulse Oximeter with Remote Monitoring


Continuously monitor Blood Oxygen Levels and Heart Rate, including blood oxygen saturation, heart rate, body motion, and perfusion index(PI) every second.


What we like

  • Comfortable, easy-to-wear design

  • An audible alarm can be set on your smartphone and/or the oxylink device when low blood oxygen is detected, for example, to wake you

  • Oxylink™ can continuously track O2 levels and heart rate overnight. As many as 4 sections of 10-hour continuous monitoring data can be recorded in the O2 monitor each time

  • 72-hour battery life

  • The device easily syncs with your phone when it finds it via Bluetooth, and transfers the data to the phone to be viewed, stored, or shared

  • You can log notes to record the activity or progress for each measurement.

  • There's a 'remote linker' attachment (as an upgraded purchase) that can be plugged in, which enables someone outside the home, wherever they are in the world, to view the information in real-time,

  • The compatible app is available for Apple/iOS and Android


How to

  • Test: After pairing the device via the app, simply place the device on your finger. The result will be transferred via Bluetooth to your phone, next time it finds the phone.

  • Share: Open the app, view the history, and press the share icon, to share via PDF, email, or text message.


This intelligent cardiac monitor is capable of monitoring, recording, and storing continuous results over 24 hours.



What we like

  • 24-Hour ECG/EKG Monitoring

  • Can be used with adhesive patches on the chest or, if skin becomes irritated, a chest strap accessory

  • Often the criticism from medical professionals of personal ECG devices revolves around the inaccuracy of software interpreting the results. The report out uses an FDA-approved AI (artificial intelligence-enabled) ECG algorithm which is based on 300,000 patients and 50 million learning data fragments to analyze data and generate reports.

  • The software uses artificial intelligence analysis to identify up to 14 kinds of abnormal ECG events and generate detailed reports & ECG waveforms

  • This is not to replace the Holter and doctor's analysis but is to help doctors use data toward a diagnosis, and help patients know their hearts better so as to prevent serious condition.

How to

  • Test & Share: The device requires a verification code to be sent to you during the setup process. Place the sensor device on your skin, it begins recording. Refer to the instructions to test and share.

 

How we Chose these Products

Products are selected based on a range of criteria, such as:

  • Use case and ability to help (eg who it helps, what it does)

  • Features (eg ECG, Heart rate, blood pressure, Strap, watch, cuff, alerts, alarms, reporting, share)

  • Research & Approvals (including studies, research, and authority approvals such as FDA, TGA, NDIS, etc)

  • Brand (indicating reputation, experience, support, and warranty)

  • Customer Reviews (number, rating)

  • The technology used (reliability, standards, battery life)

  • Fit with other products eg. Apple, Android

  • Availability to buy (across regions)

  • Channels (such as support from peak Associations or medical professionals)

  • Specialist factors (requiring closer inspection for specific conditions)

  • Finally, a cross-check among products for relative comparison by our team

We also list selected soon-to-be-released and breakthrough products, in which case we factor Awards, Founders, or Brands (eg. Amazon's new Astro robot that may be used for home care).


Always read the product information, do your own research, and contact the supplier for more information. These devices should not be considered life-saving devices. Always follow the advice of your medical professional, and contact your doctor, visit a hospital, or seek help if you have symptoms.


What kinds of measures are possible?


Devices are available to take measures like:

  • Heart rate - how many times your heart beats eg per min. You might want to check this resting, during exercise, trends over time, or if you have a wearable device, set notifications for high and low rates. This can be helpful to understand fitness, stay within limits or identify a concern.

  • Blood pressure - a blood pressure test measures the pressure in the arteries as the heart pumps. Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). A blood pressure measurement has two numbers: the top number (systolic) is the pressure of the blood flow when the heart muscle squeezes (contracts), pumping blood; the bottom number (diastolic) is the pressure measured between heartbeats.

The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association [Source] divides blood pressure into four general categories and ranges. If the top and bottom numbers fall into two different ranges, the correct blood pressure category is the higher one.

  • Irregular heartbeat/Afib - According to the Mayo Clinic [Source], a heart arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat. Heart rhythm problems (heart arrhythmias) occur when the electrical signals that coordinate the heart's beats don't work properly. The faulty signaling causes the heart to beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia), or irregularly. Heart arrhythmias may feel like a fluttering or racing heart and may be harmless. Some heart arrhythmias may cause life-threatening — signs and symptoms. However, sometimes it's normal for a person to have a fast or slow heart rate. For example, the heart rate may increase with exercise or slow down during sleep.

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) - According to John Hopkins Medicine [Source], Natural electrical impulses coordinate contractions of the different parts of the heart to keep blood flowing the way it should. An ECG records these impulses to show how fast the heart is beating, the rhythm of the heart beats (steady or irregular), and the strength and timing of the electrical impulses as they move through the different parts of the heart. Changes in an ECG can be a sign of many heart-related conditions.


See Also



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