Continuing with the iMedicalApps review of ECG applications is ECG Rhythms by Anesoft available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
ECG Rhythms by Anesoft is a self-study application designed to develop ECG rhythm identification. The user is presented with two options upon opening the application: Select Specific Rhythms’ and ‘Generate Random Rhythm’.
After the user has selected a rhythm, the user may then select one of twenty-one common ECG abnormalities. Once a rhythm is selected, an ECG trace appears as shown in the screenshot. The ECG trace is assumed to be lead 2 as it is not mentioned otherwise. This section of the application is very easy to use: the ECG trace scrolls across the screen rather than presenting as a (digital) paper printout.
However, it is not possible to zoom in on the ECG trace in order to further examine the trace. Therefore, the overall detail of the trace is rather limited. Pressing the ‘Four Questions’ tab allows the user to identify difficult rhythms using a standard approach to rhythm identification.
Selecting the ‘Answer’ tab displays a short introduction to the rhythm. Clinical implications and basic physiology are often discussed with regard to the rhythm. It should be noted that the level is suitable for medical students looking for an introduction to different ECG rhythms. There are usually two or three examples of each type of rhythm accessible with the right arrow.
Selecting a random rhythm presents the user with an ECG trace and a heart rate. The user can then select a rhythm displayed on the list whilst simultaneously using the ‘Four Questions’ approach to help choose an answer. Selecting an answer from the list prompts a box displaying the answer. Further information about the rhythm can be found under the ‘Answer’ tab.
This is a useful feature as the trace abnormality is explained in basic terms; the user would need to refer to a textbook for further information regarding the pathophysiology. A different random ECG trace can easily be generated and the number of correct answers is recorded in the top corner.
This application has a frustrating user interface due to the inability to zoom on the ECG trace and it is generally not intuitive to navigate. As previously mentioned, the level of detail in this application is not really suitable for practicing physicians as clinical diagnostic criteria is not listed. Despite these drawbacks, this is certainly an application which may be useful to medical students who are starting to learn about ECGs.
- Good range of common ECG rhythms
- ECG scrolls across the screen
- ‘Generate Random Rhythms’ is good at developing rhythm identification skills
- User interface is clunky and not intuitive
- Level of detail not adequate for practicing healthcare professionals
- Only one lead is visualized
- This app is best suited for medical students who are learning about ECGs and are keen to explore common ECG abnormalities whilst developing their rhythm identification skills.
- Its usefulness in a practical clinical setting is hampered by a lack of clinical detail or diagnostic criteria.
- As such, this application is recommended for those who are interested in learning more about ECG rhythms such as paramedics, nurses and medical students