New Smartphone Tool Can Perform Equine ECG In The Field

Veterinarians in the field now have another tool at their disposal to assist with horse health care: a smartphone-based electrocardiogram (ECG) device.

Drs. Elena Alberti, Luca Stucchi, Valeria Pesce, Giovanni Stancari, Elisabetta Ferro, Francesco Ferrucci and Enrica Zucca, all with the University of Milan in Italy, have found that the hand-held tool is useful, practical and feasible to use.

Previously, the AliveCor Veterinary Heart Monitor had only been evaluated by its use on horses in an equine hospital; the scientific team set out to determine if the tool would be accurate when used in the field as conditions are less stable than in a hospital. The scientists created a study to compare the accuracy of smartphone-based ECGs that were recorded by the AliveCor Veterinary Heart Monitor and a standard ECG unit.

ECGs from both were recorded at the same time on both horses in a barn and horses in an equine hospital. The ECGs recorded on a smartphone were digitized by the device and emailed as a PDF; both sets were then analyzed on a laptop by an experienced clinician who didn’t know which ECG was recorded by which device.

Both devices recorded the heart rate and rhythm similarly; they also evaluated atrioventricular block and premature complexes, P wave and PQ interval duration, and QRS complex duration and polarity the same. There were no differences between artefacts recorded in the hospital or in the field.

The scientists concluded that the results the AliveCor Veterinary Heart Monitor provided were accurate and that the smartphone-based monitor was a reliable diagnostic tool for vets in the field as well and in a hospital setting. They did, however, note that exceptional atmospheric conditions, like lightning storms, may prevent the AliveCor from recording in the field.

Read the article here.

Read more at HorseTalk.

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