Glasgow Children’s Hospital Uses Smartphones to Track Patients’ Heartbeats

Cardiologists at the Royal Hospital for Children have unveiled new tech to track patients’ heartbeats via their smartphones. 

Fitted discreetly to the back of a mobile phone, the AliveCor kit works in tandem with an app, that can take send ECG readings back to the consultant via email.

According to the Clinicians they have seen a four-fold increase in diagnosis since AliveCor’s introduction. They added that the project has proved particularly popular with younger patients who are able to track their own heartbeats using the tech.

Teenager Ben Roose, who was diagnosed with Supraventricular tachycardia, is one of the patients already benefiting from the tech.

Roose said: “I’ve had this heart condition for a couple of years now, so getting the cardio was really useful as it means I can take a recording of my heart when it’s going really fast. I can then send it to the doctor, rather than waiting to explain it to her when I next go to her clinic.”

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His mother said that the device provides some reassurance at an otherwise worrying time. “It’s good because it means while we are waiting for his procedure, the doctor is fully aware of what is happening with his heart,” she said.

“Having a child with a heart condition is obviously a worry for me, but the fabulous care and attention we have had from Dr Karen McLeod and her team at the Royal Hospital for Children has given us confidence he is in safe hands”.

Cardiologist Dr Karen McLeod said: “The introduction of the AliveCor monitors for diagnosing heart rhythms in children with palpitations has been a great success. The monitor is discrete, fits on the back of a phone and uses technology in a way that is very familiar and acceptable to teenagers.

“It is really useful for children who live in remote parts of Scotland or who have their symptoms very occasionally. It has improved our diagnosis of palpitations in children and saved the NHS money too, by reducing the need for hospital visits.”

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The hospital is increasingly turning to tech to improve patient care, its neonatal unit also uses tech to create personalised videos for parents of their newborn babies when they can’t get to see them in hospital.



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