New data from an international study of AliveCor’s smartphone app and accompanying two-wire ECG found the mobile tool to be on par with a standard 12-lead ECG among patients presenting with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
In the study — which was conducted in conjunction with AliveCor and presented this weekend at the American Heart Association’s 2018 Scientific Session in Chicago — 204 patients presenting chest pain or STEMI symptoms at one of five research sites were administered a smartphone and traditional ECG. A panel of blinded readers viewed these tests independently and denoted each as STEMI or left bundle brach block (LBBB), non-STEMI or unable to be interpreted.
Among the paired tests that were able to be interpreted, the panel found a sensitivity and specificity of 0.89 and 0.84, respectively. Positive and negative predictive values for STEMI or LBBB were 0.7 and 0.95. Additionally, the panel considered 79.2 percent of the matched smartphone-traditional ECG pairs to show “good” correlation.
Why it matters
Should it be as viable as the data would indicate, AliveCor’s smartphone ECG would be a cheaper and more portable tool for providers treating STEMI patients, the researchers noted. Further, the increased availability of this tool would likely allow hospitals to keep more ECGs on hand, thereby decreasing the time it takes to remove a patient’s blockage.
"The sooner you can get the artery open, the better the patient is going to do,” Dr. J. Brent Muhlestein, a cardiovascular researcher at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City and the study’s lead investigator, said in a statement. “We found this app may dramatically speed things up and save your life.”
What’s the trend
AliveCor’s smartphone ECG has already been the subject of several clinical investigations, and the company recently revealed a new six-lead version of its device that’s currently in the works. The company’s wrist-worn ECG device, however, is seeing substantial competition from the latest version of Apple’s smartwatch.