ECG interpretation can be extremely intimidating to those new to medicine. Even seasoned providers can be tripped up on complicated ECG’s of arrhythmias and blocks. Only ABG and PFT interpretation can be as intimidating to the junior physician. Pattern recognition is critical for seasoned providers, but the process can be taught. Many excellent textbooks on ECG interpretation exist including the venerable Dubin’s Rapid Interpretation of EKG’s, Thaler’s Only EKG Book You’ll Ever Need and Brose’s Guide to EKG Interpretation.
In today’s mobile age, there are now numerous apps for ECG interpretation. Here on iMedicalApps we previously reviewed the top ECG apps for iOS and Android. We came away most impressed with ECG Guide by QxMD. One of the newest ECG apps to enter the crowded market is ECG by Fabio Castro. This app is intended for providers with minimal ECG interpretation training. The app guides users through a 12 step interpretation process while teaching the basics of ECG interpretation.
When you open the app, you see a mostly plain white background with basic instructions to open a new ECG interpretation algorithm or reopen a saved interpretation. The app allows you to name the patients and add copies of their ECGs (use those functions at your own HIPAA peril). Next, the app leads you through a 12 step ECG interpretation algorithm (evidently developed by the author) with numerous teaching pearls available along the way. After completing all 12 steps and answering many questions about your patient and their ECG, the app generates a “report” that includes a differential diagnosis. This is similar to what you arrive at using the outstanding dermatology app, VisualDx, but is a bit too confusing and “busy”.
Evidence based medicine
The app comes from a developer named Fabio Castro and is developed in Portugal. The app has a very reasonable process to ECG interpretation, but appears to be needlessly complex. The app teaches the basics of ECG interpretation as users progress through each step via a set of questions, but no resources or references are provided.
Who would benefit from this App?
Nurses, students, residents, mid-levels, primary care providers, emergency medicine, internal medicine, any provider who interprets ECGs.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
- $14.99 iOS, $19.90 Android
- Very ambitious app that teaches as it walks users through the steps of ECG interpretation.
- Ability to save ECG interpretations for later use/updating.
- Can import photos of ECG’s into the app.
- App includes a mini-ECG textbook that is built into each section of the app.
- User interface is complex and not easy to navigate.
- Takes too long to evaluate the results and unclear how the numerous input options alter the results.
- Price of app a bit steep compared with other apps or available texts.
- App includes no information on its references, author or developer.
ECG CALC is an app that attempts to be ECG textbook, teacher and interpreter. The app succeeds on some of those fronts, but the app’s UI is difficult to navigate and unnecessarily complex. This leaves the user questioning some of the app’s usefulness and reliability of its results.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Design is easy to use and allows for precise and accurate data entry.
- Multimedia Usage
App has ability to import pictures/EKGs, generate “reports” with differentials, but no information on the references used to create the app or its author.
$14.99 iOS, $19.90 Android, may be too steep for many looking for an ECG guide.
- Real World Applicability
A novel app idea that is bogged down by a challenging interface and results that may not be entirely reliable.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 6S running iOS 9.1
- Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad