AliveCor's iCard ECG for iPhone 3G, iPad and Android

You may recall my previous reporting on the incredible iPhonECG (subsequently re-named the iPhone ECG) which caused quite a stir in the medical and gadget blogosphere.

It's the third-most visited page in the history of the EMS 12-Lead blog (behind the lead placement charts and the notice that the 572 pound spokesman for the Heart Attack Grill died of a sudden cardiac arrest).

The original invention was a simple cell phone case that turned the iPhone 4 into a clinical quality ECG monitor. The ECG is stored locally on the smart phone and can be transmitted anywhere in the world.

Incredibly, the device can capture a high-quality ECG through a cotton t-shirt!

What paramedic or nurse wouldn't want one of those?

That's not to say there aren't any naysayers. A small handful either can't see the potential or have some doubts.

I gave this explanation of a possible use for the iPhone ECG in a discussion on the Wirelss Health group on LinkedIn.

Consider this scenario. An acute care NP is having dinner with her husband and they notice a commotion in the corner of the restaurant. Someone is "down". She comes over and and assesses the patient. His pulse is slow and weak. Out comes the iPhonECG and she captures third degree AV block. By the time EMS arrives the arrhythmia has resolved. She says to the paramedics, "Here's my phone number. Have the ED physician call me and I'll transmit the ECG for the patient's medical record." Now, instead of being blown off as "vaso-vagal syncope" they know the patient has a significant conduction problem in his heart.

You could imagine dozens of other scenarios. Indeed, the iPhone ECG is an incredible device. I can't wait to get my hands on one! 

Dr. Dave Albert, the inventor of the iPhone ECG, recently gave this entertaining talk at TEDxOKC explaining how the iPhone ECG went "viral" on the internet.

Unfortunately, I no longer own an iPhone. I lost my iPhone 3G at Disney World last year and replaced it with a Droid X.

I'm generally happy with the Droid X, but the iPhone ECG is only for the iPhone. It would be too difficult to make it work for Android because Android isn't a phone, it's an operating system.

Dozens of different phones run on Android so AliveCor would have to design dozens of different cases to make this invention work with a Droid phone, let alone the Ipad or a Tablet. Right?


In walks the iCard ECG!

With the iCard ECG any of these devices can be converted instantly into a clinical quality ECG monitor. I realize that Dr. Dave did not specifically mention Droid phones in the YouTube video for the iCard ECG but he did clarify the point on Twitter.

So, who else wants one?

As @scottthemedic posted on Twitter….

See also:

Universal iCard ECG attachment for your iPhone & iPad – The Rohan Aurora

iCard ECG Turns Any iPhone/iPad Into a Powerful Electrocardiograph – MedGadget


  • Jessica R. says:

    Me! But, where can you find it & how much does it cost? And is it convertable from phone to phone (as in I have the first Droid & my contract renews in September & I’ll most likely get a new phone, could I take it from the Droid to whatever new phone I may happen to get)?

  • Dennis B. says:

    I didn't specifically hear him mention compatiblity with Android, but seems logical that the technology would be easily duplicated on any OS.  I am also anxious to hear more about cost and accuracy.   I own a rather cheap portable (pocket size)  device capable of a 3-lead display, recording and printing, but I would never suggest it would equal even better 3-lead machine.  The thought is rather titilating.

  • Scott says:

    How is the data transmitted from the card to the phone? Bluetooth? I would rather not put the velcro on the back of my phone. I'm wondering if it would work if I put just the card on the chest and the phone near it? I don't really want this attached to my phone all the time.

  • Steve says:

    This would be awesome since my 6yo daughter has wow and has occasional runs of svt. The doctor has had her wear a monitor, but never has an "event" while having it on. Having this would be great since all I'd have to do is fire up the old app!

  • Dodge says:

    An app that is both effective and most importantly affordable is always welcomed i will be awaiting the outcome of the FDA for this product, it would be great to see that it be made commercially available to all areas of health care.

  • Allison says:

    I want one!  I have occasional cardiac weirdness.  How cool would that be to send it to the cardiac electrophysiologist.  This is beyond cool.

  • Jerry says:

    I would love to have something like this to monitor myself.  Really just for curiousity's sake.  It would be very interesting to see what type of changes my ECG goes through, if any, when my HR is up in the 150-160 range during heavy cardio workouts.

  • Rune says:

    Sorry to be sceptic, but without galvanic skin contact, the signal conduction is capacitative and you're bound to have a high impedance at the frequencies of interest.
    Even with high-end equipment and gel electrodes you'll have more noise that what is demonstrated – which suggest a high degree of filtering. Do not count on doing any serious diagnostics with this – but for simple rythm monitoring it seems brilliant and weel suited.

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