Is Chocolate Good For The Heart?

While in Paris recently,  allegedly researching the French Paradox, the skeptical cardiologist and his Eternal Fiancee' participated in a Food Tour (Paris By Mouth).  Along with 2 other American couples, we were guided and educated by a Parisian food/wine expert as we wandered from one small shop to another in the St. Germain district of [...]

What Is Behind The Significant Changes In AliveCor’s Kardia Mobile ECG App?

The Skeptical Cardiologist is a strong proponent of empowering patients with atrial fibrillation by utilizing personal cardiac rhythm devices such as Afib Alert or AliveCor's Kardia. I've written about my experiences with the initial versions of the Kardia mobile ECG device and the service it provides here and here. I have been monitoring dozens of [...]

Why Did I Go Into Atrial Fibrillation?

The skeptical cardiologist is asked this  question or  variations of it (such as  what caused me to go out of rhythm?) on a daily basis. Most patients would like to have a reason for why their atria suddenly decided to fibrillate.  It's understandable. If they could identify the reason perhaps they could stop it from [...]

Is September Really National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month (And Why Does It Matter?)

The skeptical cardiologist received an email from a woman telling him that September is atrial fibrillation awareness month and offering me the free use of an infographic given that I "care deeply about helping people living with AF." Well, I do care about deeply about people living with atrial fibrillation and pretty much all cardiac [...]

AliveCor (Kardia) Has A Premature Beat Problem: How PVCs and PACs Confuse The Mobile ECG Device

The skeptical cardiologist has many patients who are successfully using their AliveCor/Kardia devices to monitor for episodes of atrial fibrillation (afib). However, a significant number of patients who have had atrial fibrillation also have premature beats. Sometimes patients feel these premature beats as a skipping or irregularity of the heart beat. Such palpitations  can mimic [...]

Atrial Fibrillation: How Many Times Can You Shock The Heart?

The most effective method for getting a heart that is in atrial fibrillation back to normal rhythm is a called an electrical cardioversion. I've tried to come up with a good alternative or descriptive term for this procedure for my patients, such as "resetting" or "rebooting" the heart, but the term that seems to best resonate [...]

AfibAlert Versus AliveCor/Kardia: Which Mobile ECG Device Is Best At Accurately Identifying Atrial Fibrillation?

The skeptical cardiologist has been testing the comparative accuracy of two hand-held mobile ECG devices in his office over the last month. I've written extensively about my experience with the AliveCor/Kardia (ACK) device here and here. Most recently I described my experience with the Afib Alert (AA) device here. Over several days I had my office patients [...]

How Well Does The AfibAlert Remote Hand-Held Automatic ECG Device Work For Detection of Atrial Fibrillation?

I've been evaluating the ability of a mobile hand-held ECG device called AfibAlert to detect atrial fibrillation for the last few weeks. I found that the device made very reliable and consistent recordings of cardiac rhythm and did a reasonably good job of detecting atrial fibrillation (afib). The device  came in a plastic case with a USB cable [...]

Has The Digoxin Death Knell Sounded: Farewell To Foxglove?

The skeptical cardiologist is fascinated by the cardiac drug digoxin and the plant from which it is derived, the foxglove. I wrote about "foxglove equipoise" in a previous post, touching on the contributions of William Withering in the 1700s, to understanding the toxicity and therapeutic benefits of the foxglove, and more recent concerns that digoxin increases [...]