Patient Centric App Review Series

App Reviewed: Cardiograph – Heart Rate Monitor Version 2.2
Last Updated:
September 7, 2012
iPhone, iPad, Android
iOS 4.2 or greater
Reviewed on:
both iPhone and iPad

Goals of app review:

*Can physicians recommend this app to patients who need to check their heart rate?
*Does the app work as promised?


Cardiograph was developed by MacroPinch, Ltd.

It’s purpose is to measure and track heart rate, keep track of multiple individuals’ heart rate, add notes, locations, and print out measurements if desired.

App Specifics:

On first opening the app, the user is invited to watch a tutorial on its operation. The opening screen is reminiscent of a hospital EKG monitor with a power button (that did nothing from a medical perspective that the reviewer could ascertain) sound on/off, a monitor strip, a disclaimer message, as well as help, history, and profile buttons. 

With profile buttons, multiple individuals’ measurements can be recorded.

The history button takes the user to a page with recorded measurements. Notes can be added and locations recorded through the phones GPS. Although, the pattern is of a QRS complex the machine is only picking up the pulse.

From the history, a measurement can be emailed or printed.
There is an instruction manual under the “?” tab which includes interesting facts about the heart in addition to help for the user. The support email is in the “Tips & Hints” section.

Healthcare goals of app:

This app was developed for individuals interested in checking heart rate with exercise or to record it for medical purposes.

Evidence to support goals:

Patients frequently complain of fast heart rate and irregular heart rates. It would be helpful to have an app capable of performing a “spot” heart check with such complaints to determine if further testing is warranted.

While devices are being developed that use sensors combined with smart phones, a good screening app that could capture heart rate and rhythm might be helpful with such determinations. Studies have looked at the accuracy of smartphones in capturing heart rate and have been found it to be reliable[1].


  • $1.99   


  • Up-to-date version
  • Very clean and attractive interface
  • Very easy to use, one click to any screen


  • Reviewer had difficulty with accuracy of the iPad app
  • Email support is buried in the help file

What providers would benefit from app?

  • Primary Care Doctors
  • Cardiologists
  • ER doctors

What patient would benefit from app?

  • Patients who want to check resting heart rates
  • Patients worried their heart rate is too fast or irregular


  • Cardiograph is a app designed to monitor and track heart rate using the iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones. The reviewer checked it against a professional quality heart rate monitor used in her office with both the iPhone and the iPad app. The iPhone had more accurate results and was comparable to the professional device. The iPad was a bit more difficult to find the “sweet spot” with a finger but once that was obtained, it accurately measured the rate.
  • Pros-Inexpensive, reasonably accurate, easy to use, updated regularly.
  • Cons-IPad a little less accurate, older patients may have trouble putting their finger in exactly the right place, pricey if not able to be used.
  • Individuals who are able to easily hold their fingers still on the camera area should be able to obtain a reasonably accurate reading.

Bottom Line:
In low risk patients who may benefit from monitoring their heart rate, Cardiograph could be a reasonable screening device before obtaining more expensive studies. However, it would be important for a physician to try it first in the office on the patient who will be using it to make sure it’s accurate. 

iTunes Link


1. Gregoski, MJ. Development and Validation of a Smartphone Heart Rate Acquisition Application for Health Promotion and Wellness Telehealth Applications 2012, International Journal of Telemedicine and Applications
Accessed: 2012-09-05. (Archived by WebCite® at

This post does not establish, nor is it intended to establish, a patient physician relationship with anyone. It does not substitute for professional advice, and does not substitute for an in-person evaluation with your health care provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or health care provider as to the apps validity and accuracy as this post is not intended to affirm the validity or accuracy of the apps in question. The app(s) mentioned in this post should not be used without discussing the app first with your health care provider.