4 Cutting Edge Apps to Monitor Your Heart Health

Not that long ago, people who underwent heart valve or other cardiovascular surgery had to wait until their next doctor’s appointment to monitor their heart health. Granted, you probably could have purchased an at-home blood pressure monitor or visited the local pharmacy… But, that was about the extent of it.

Heart Health Apps For Your iPhone

Now, thanks to some pretty amazing apps and other smartphone-related technology, your mobile phone can help you do much more than text or make calls. As Harvard Health Publications notes, hundreds of heart health apps are now available, and some of them use the impressive technology inside the phones to allow people to take charge of their cardiovascular health. Consider the following four examples:

Azumio

If you want to keep tabs on your heart rate, there are several apps that turn your smartphone into a pulse checking device. For example, the Azumio app uses the phone’s camera to detect and show your pulse rate. Simply place the top of your pointer finger right on the camera, and almost immediately your pulse will be shown on the screen. In addition to a real-time PPG graph, the app also includes data storage options as well as information on heart rate zones. If you recently purchased the new iPhone 6, the phone comes with a handy health monitor app already built in that is designed to sync up with this app. This will help you keep your results at your fingertips for you to show your heart doctor at your next appointment.

Heart Rate App by Azumio

 

Withing’s Blood Pressure Monitor

This impressive tool and app lets you store your regular blood pressure readings right onto your Apple device. It also shows graphs of how your blood pressure has measured over a period of time, which can help you and your doctor see any patterns quickly and easily. To use this innovative tool, place the blood pressure cuff over your arm, and switch on the Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor. The Withing’s Health Mate app will then store the results. If you need a refresher on how to properly take your blood pressure, the app also includes easy-to-follow instructions.

Withings Blood Pressure App

 

AliveCor Heart Monitor iPhone Case and App

The AliveCor Heart Monitor iPhone case can actually transform your phone into a portable electrocardiogram. To use it, just place your fingers on the electrodes that are located on either side of the case and the ECG will automatically detect and display your heart rate right on the screen. The iPhone case will record your cardiovascular rhythm, and then the AliveECG app will store the info along with information about any symptoms you might be experiencing, medications and your various activities — including atrial fibrillation. If you feel like you might be having episodes of atrial fibrillation or other variations in your normal heart rate, the AliveCor ECG will pick up on it and keep a record of any trends that might be causing those issues.

 

Cardiio

The Cardiio app uses the camera on your iPhone or iPad to measure your heartbeat. It gets the reading by noting the changes in light that are reflected off your face as your heart pumps. To use it, simply hold your device in front of you or gently place your finger on the camera. The app also features a personal dashboard that will store your heart rate readings and provide interesting statistics, which you can then show your physician.

Cardiio App

With all this talk about apps, I am really starting to wonder… Should HeartValveSurgery.com have a smartphone app? What do you think? Click here to let me know!

Keep on tickin!
Adam

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

  • Lori Gluckman Winterfeldt

    Adam, Unfortunately, I have to say that I tried the Withings BP Monitor a few months back and it’s TOTALLY INACCURATE. I compared it to my cardiologist’s bp monitor and it was consistently giving falsely elevated readings. The problem is the bp cuff is too small and they don’t offer a larger cuff alternative. Very disappointed and I tried to get remedy from Withings without success.
    That being said, I LOVE apps and am always looking out for heart and/or health related apps that would be useful.

  • Hi Lori, I completely understand and get your point about the Withing’s BP Monitor. I’ve heard mixed reviews about almost every health-related app and wearable devices out there. For example, when I mention my FitBit device and app to people… Some people roll their eyes with disappointment (especially the Force) while others perk up with complete joy. I’m starting to feel like you have to try a few to learn what works best for you. Fyi… I’m kinda getting excited about the Apple watch as well. I’m guessing there are going to be several next-gen features that have yet to be announced yet. 🙂

  • Kenny Knox

    Hey Adam! I added the HVS.com website to my homescreen on my android phone so I could have immediate access to the community. The mobile site works very well, however that may not be the case for all phones. Having an app may also allow you to build in additional functionality for community members (logging their recovery progress or storing medical info that the apps in this article mention).

    Have a great Thursday!
    -Kenny

  • Hey Kenny, I’m THRILLED to hear that you are taking advantage of the mobile code that we just added to the site. As you probably aware, it’s very difficult these days to code a website to be completely responsive or adaptive given all the different devices (tablets, phones, pcs, laptops, etc.) out there. We definitely have some more improvements to make… But, this was a huge step for us with the recent relaunch.

    As for the potential of developing an app for the site, I really like your thoughts including that recovery logging idea. Thanks Kenny!

  • Ginger French of Oz

    Adam,

    As I know you are well aware, science and technology are continually changing and updating. I bought a carbon steel and chrome BASIS from My Basis after my cardiologist warned me not to let my heart rate get above 110 bpm until my valve was replaced. I had an old Sportsline, and it did the job, but with much more difficulty and no data collection – something I get with my BASIS. Now, less than a year from the purchase, My Basis is coming out with yet another (at least their third) device, called PEAK.

    What about a place on the Learning Center to discuss Apps and devices available? It would, I suspect, be less of an expense to HVS, and could be updated without having to reinvent something by those running the site. And I think the info would be valuable.

    Even just adding in news to the area as new apps and devices become available would be helpful, and the community could comment on those they use/have tried and the pros and cons of each. Seems like every time I look, another “Activity Tracker” or such has hit the market.

    I think this would be valuable to the community and less of a headache to you and others who handle the website. And a “Sort By Newest” would probably be helpful if you choose to go that route.

    Best! Ginger

  • Scott Brayley

    Adam, I would wait for the fallout from the Apple watch before making any plans. It’s going to render a lot of apps redundant.

  • John Noriega

    A good app for us would be ideal, but I have to agree that most are not accurate. I have a Relion BP Meter made by Omron and my readings are always higher than any of my doctor’s readings by as much as 30 points. So, I’m not 100% sure it will help.

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