Successful management of my AFib using Apple and AliveCor devices and integration with Health App

Hector Goldin hector_goldin@mac.com

Abstract

The talk describes the process of discovery, diagnostic and monitoring of the treatment of my Atrial Fibrillation  (AFib) using Apple and AliveCor devices.
 In August 2015, during a trip, I felt palpitations and my Apple Watch showed an abnormally high heart rhythm. The rhythm was very irregular, and I felt weak. Suddenly the rhythm went back to normal, and when I returned home I visited a cardiologist, who performed several tests but could find no problems. The cardiologist explained that I had had an arrhythmia, but he could not diagnose what kind. He said it was very important to determine if I had Atrial Fibrillation (usually called AFib) or other more benign problems. He further explained that AFib increases risk of stroke 500%, and if I had a new AFib episode and it did not resolve in 48 hours, I needed to go to an ER and have it normalized with medicines or cardioversion, because the risk of a stroke became unacceptably high. Furthermore, if it was confirmed that I had AFib I would have to use an oral anticoagulant (OAC) permanently. So the issue for me now was if I felt palpitations again, how could I evaluate if I had AFib before going to the ER? In September of 2015 I went to the Medicine X conference for business reasons, and there I learned about AliveCor, a product that connects to the iPhone and detects AFib, and I purchased it online immediately. A few months later, on May 15, 2016 at 3:22 AM I woke up feeling palpitations, and when I used the AliveCor device, it showed in bright orange color a possible AFib. But that night I was taking care of my grandson, so I wanted to be certain this was not a device error, but fortunately the AliveCor App had the feature of sending the reading for a Clinical Review with a doctor. I sent it immediately and a few minutes later a doctor confirmed the suspicion of an AFib episode and advised me to contact a doctor within 24 hours. So I made arrangements for my grandson and went to the ER and they confirmed I was in AFib that reverted with medicines a few hours later. One month later I had another AFib episode, and in July I had two more, so my doctor prescribed rhythm regulation drugs and OAC (oral anti-coagulant). Unfortunately the medicines affected my blood pressure and my kidney function and therefore my cardiologist suggested that I have an ablation, a procedure that isolates the areas that produce AFib in the heart. I went to the Texas Cardiac Institute where Dr. Andrea Natale and his team did the ablation and now I am monitoring my heart with the AliveCor product, I still have some accelerated but completely regular rhythm. The AliveCor measurements were integrated with Blood Pressure, and several other measurement devices in my iPhone and other Apple devices using the Health App and the Apple Healthkit APIs that allowed me to integrate all the functions have all the measurements immediately with me for reference. Also I could generate reports for the doctors who could follow all the evolution of my condition to its successful resolution.
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