Afib monitoring devices comparison

This article is an informative comparison of heart rhythm monitor devices, not medical advice. 

Atrial fibrillation (Afib) is an irregular heartbeat that often causes poor blood flow and increases risks of heart related illnesses such as stroke. Afib effects many Americans, and can be easily detected and treated. There are many ways to monitor Afib, such as heart rhythm monitor devices that can detect occurrences of afib episodes, implantable devices to monitor the heart 24/7 and medications that help control heart rhythm disturbances.

Device comparison


heartcheck penHeartcheck Pen AliveCor_monitorAliveCor

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 11.52.53 AMECG Check

Detects AF
Check_mark_23x20_02 Check_mark_23x20_02 Check_mark_23x20_02
Ease of use in detecting Afib*
FDA Clearance
Instant Feedback
Prescription required
Check_mark_23x20_02 For Afib detection
PC Compatible
Requires SmartPhone or Tablet
Check_mark_23x20_02 Check_mark_23x20_02

Starting at $249

Starting at $259 Starting at $99

Starting at $139



* Ease of use implies that there are 2 or less steps in order for an accurate Afib reading to be detected.
** Accuracy is defined as 94% or higher accuracy in detecting Afib.

To learn more about each device, please find more details on each respective website.


Medtronic (Implantable) — An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is an implantable heart device that may terminate 98% of potentially life-threatening arrhythmias.

  • Highly effective in determining heart arrhythmias
  • Continuous monitoring
  • Prices vary

Drug Therapy

  • Clot Preventing Medication (antiplatelets, anticoagulants)
    • Antiplatelets (e.g. Aspirin) thins the blood to prevent blood clot formation and can increase your risk of bleeding.
    • Anticoagulants (e.g. Warfarin) thins the blood to prevent blood clot formation and can increase your risk of bleeding. With an anticoagulant prescription, there is often a monthly blood test that is necessary.
  • Heart Rate Controlling Medication (beta blockers, calcium channel blockers)
    • Beta blockers (e.g. Atenolol, Bisoprolol) are drugs used to slow the heart rate. This allows most patients to function, when their heart rate is controlled.
    • Calucium channel blockers (e.g. Dilitiazem, Verapamil) are used to slow the heart rate in patients with AFib and to reduce the strength of the muscle cell’s contraction.
  • Heart Rhythm Controlling Medications (sodium channel blockers, potassium channel blockers)
    • Sodium channel blockers (e.g. Flecainide (Tambocor®), Propafenone (Rythmol®)) help the heart’s rhythm by slowing the heart’s ability to conduct electricity.
    • Potassium channel blockers (e.g. Amiodarone (Cordarone® or Pacerone®), Sotalol (Betapace®)) help the heart’s rhythm by slowing down the electrical signals that cause AFib.

No single treatment for Afib is suited for every patient. If you have heart disturbances, talk with your physician for the best course of treatment for your diagnosis.


American Heart Association



The Heartcheck


ECG Check

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Posted in Care, Clinical

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