For healthcare professionals and students looking to assess their ECG knowledge, ECG Test is an app that provides a collection of over 800 real-patient ECGs in a live-monitor display so as to mimic what a physician or paramedic would see on a patient. It should be made clear early on that ECG Test is not meant to act as a pure learning modality, in that it will not teach a beginner how to interpret ECGs – refer to Dubin’s EKG book for that. If you don’t have a solid baseline understanding of ECG interpretation then this app is not for you. The app is meant to serve as a q-bank in order to gauge gaps in knowledge. The basic app provides only a handful of cases to choose from; however, through a $14.99 in-app purchase you can acquire approximately 800 additional cases.
The home screen takes you directly to the available cases. Again, you have to pay $14.99 to get all the cases. For each case you are given basic patient information – gender and age. Unfortunately no additional case history is provided for each ECG therefore limiting the clinical context of the ECG, e.g. patient with sudden chest pain, shortness of breath, tachycardia would cause you to look for ECG findings specific for PE or MI. There is no easy way to scroll through the cases to locate previously bookmarked cases other than repeatedly swiping the screen over and over.
After you select a case you are taken to a 12-lead ECG “live monitor”. Swipe to the left to see all the lead tracings. The live tracing can make it a little difficult if you are trying to calculate intervals and you end up having to estimate. In the top-right corner you are given heart rate, a sound control (which I recommend keeping off), and a bookmark feature. At the bottom there is a bank of ECG findings and from the bank you have to select those that are present in the ECG. Prior to selecting options you are told how many are correct. Don’t be surprised if you look through the ECG and find more abnormal findings that are not listed in the bank. Once you click submit, the selected choices will turn green if correct and red if incorrect. You won’t immediately be given the correct answers; you have to select “learn” to see the full ECG interpretation, which is brief and typical of what you would find on the ECG print out report. No detailed explanations of the correct findings are provided, limiting its use as a learning aid.
If you click on the wand next to the “number of correct answers” display you can briefly view all the correct answers.
Who would benefit from the app?
Physicians, Medical students, paramedics
- Free (limited cases) / $14.99 in-app purchase for over 800 cases
- Easy to navigate
- Lots of cases
- Good testing tool
- Bookmark feature
- Star grading system
- Cases available offline
- Live monitor makes the app more interactive but ultimately adds little
- No case history and no detailed explanation of correct findings — this aspect alone limits the functionality of this app.
- Bank limits your interpretation and leads you to correct answers
ECG test is a solid testing tool for healthcare providers looking to either brush up on their ECG skills or in need of a q-bank for examination purposes. The live monitor display seems gimmicky and offers little. The biggest limiting factor of this app is the lack of ECG explanations, limiting overall learning. If you’re looking for an app to teach ECGs or to get case-based learning, this isn’t the app for you.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Easy to use and navigate.
- Multimedia Usage
$14.99 with the in-app purchase – Expensive when considering the app doesn’t give detailed explanations of ECG findings and overall pathology.
- Real World Applicability
Solid tool, but lack of detailed explanation of findings limits overall functionality
- Device Used For Review
- Available for DownloadiPhoneiPad