We all know teenagers are constantly attached to their mobile phones, but some are now even using them to track their own heartbeats.
Heart experts at the Royal Hospital for Children are now able to keep tabs on their cardiac patients using the latest technology – and all via their smartphones. Not only is the project popular with young patients, doctors have seen a four-fold increase in diagnosis since their introduction.
Alivecor is a device that fits discreetly onto the back of a mobile phone and in conjunction with an app, is able to send ECG readings back to the consultant via email.
One teenager to benefit from these state-of-the-art devices is 16-year-old Ben Roose from Paisley. Ben first experienced a racing heart around two years ago and following a diagnosis of Supraventricular Tachycardia, is now preparing for surgery in the summer.
Ben said: “I’ve had this heart condition for a couple of years now, so getting the cardio was really useful as it means I can take a recording of my heart when it’s going really fast. I can then send it to the doctor, rather than waiting to explain it to her when I next go to her clinic.”
For Ben’s mum Julie, the device provides some re-assurance at an otherwise worrying time.
Julie said: “It’s good because it means while we are waiting for his procedure, the doctor is fully aware of what is happening with his heart.
“Having a child with a heart condition is obviously a worry for me, but the fabulous care and attention we have had from Dr Karen McLeod and her team at the Royal Hospital for Children has given us confidence he is in safe hands.”
Cardiologist Dr Karen McLeod said: “The introduction of the AliveCor monitors for diagnosing heart rhythms in children with palpitations has been a great success.
“The monitor is discrete, fits on the back of a phone and uses technology in a way that is very familiar and acceptable to teenagers.
“It is really useful for children who live in remote parts of Scotland or who have their symptoms very occasionally. It has improved our diagnosis of palpitations in children and saved the NHS money too, by reducing the need for hospital visits.”
This is just one of many exciting developments that the Royal Hospital for Children is progressing across a range of specialties. The hospital is also maximising the use of new and innovative technologies, working together with patients and their families and driving forward the commitment to improve the health of the children and young people of Scotland.
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email