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When a Patient is in Control of His Health: Posting ECG Results on Twitter

Hugo Campos is well known in the health 2.0/e-patient communities and now he made another step forward in changing healthcare. Even though I teach medical students not to give medical advice online, this little story should give us a glimpse about the near future of healthcare. He posted his ECG results (with AliveCor) on Twitter asking the opinion of cardiologists.

Earlier tonight, at around 7:25 pm, I noticed a fluttering sensation in my chest. My first thought was atrial fibrillation (AF). I’ve had quite a few runs of AF, so I’m familiar with its symptoms. I immediately grabbed my iPhone ECG recorder, licked the electrodes (I know, gross, but I wanted a sharp recording), lifted my shirt and placed the device against my chest hoping for a clean recording. Until now, I hadn’t been fast enough to catch an arrhythmia in action. But this time, I caught the tail end of the episode. I tweeted the experience.


7 Comments Post a comment
  1. I assume someone has treated this??????!!!!!

    April 23, 2013
    • Kathy –

      The “crowdsource” of most cardiovascular physicians in the linked post felt (1) it was artifact and (2) he should review the tracings with his electrophysiologist,

      While very cool, there are still some very real limitations for physicians who prescribe these devices as required by FDA rules. I outlined a few here:

      Needless to say, this example confirms the challenges ahead that must be resolved for personal mobile apps.

      April 28, 2013
      • Thanks, I only saw that after I posted. :P They were interesting tweets, not just for the crowdsourcing aspect but also the patient’s concerns, likely worsened by the app. Medicine in the cloud is challenging.

        April 28, 2013
      • Well said! It’s interesting to see how this short story creates two sides about using digital technologies in healthcare.

        May 1, 2013
  2. I happened to be following Hugo’s tweets on March 3 (not included on his Storify post) as he was describing a bout of PVCs: I was intrigued – and quite honestly dismayed – as I watched a real time drama unfolding of an agitated patient who appeared to become more agitated by his device: For instance:

    @Hugo: “PVCs woke me up so I used the @AliveCor to record an #ECG. What did I catch?

    @dlschermd: “PVCs”

    @tbouthillet: “Looks like PVCs to me”

    @cascadia: “a few benign PVCs”

    @Hugo: “Thanks. Must figure out why I’m having so many PVCs this a.m.”

    @dlschermd: “Sometimes no reason. Don’t panic. Will make worse”

    @Hugo: “Thanks. Trigger is not obvious. Although they are driving me insane”

    @dlschermd: “Try meditation”

    @drDave01: “Yes. Article just published that yoga helps AF. Meditation and yoga may help PVCs”

    – – – and finally, my own question to Hugo:

    @HeartSisters: “But what are you doing with this information, other than driving yourself crazy?”

    April 27, 2013

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. When a Patient is in Control of His Health: Posting ECG Results on Twitter | Art Jones ~ Modern Marketing
  2. Most Popular Medical Stories of 2013: Month by Month | ScienceRoll

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