PULSE-SMART: Pulse-based arrhythmia discrimination using a novel smartphone application

David D. McManus, Jo Woon Chong, Apurv Soni, Jane S. Saczynski, Nada Esa, Craig Napolitano, Chad E. Darling, Edward Boyer, Rochelle K. Rosen, Kevin C. Floyd, Ki H. Chon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Automated Arrhythmia Discrimination Using a Smartphone Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common and dangerous rhythm abnormality. Smartphones are increasingly used for mobile health applications by older patients at risk for AF and may be useful for AF screening. Objectives To test whether an enhanced smartphone app for AF detection can discriminate between sinus rhythm (SR), AF, premature atrial contractions (PACs), and premature ventricular contractions (PVCs). Methods We analyzed two hundred and nineteen 2-minute pulse recordings from 121 participants with AF (n = 98), PACs (n = 15), or PVCs (n = 15) using an iPhone 4S. We obtained pulsatile time series recordings in 91 participants after successful cardioversion to sinus rhythm from preexisting AF. The PULSE-SMART app conducted pulse analysis using 3 methods (Root Mean Square of Successive RR Differences; Shannon Entropy; Poincare plot). We examined the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive accuracy of the app for AF, PAC, and PVC discrimination from sinus rhythm using the 12-lead EKG or 3-lead telemetry as the gold standard. We also administered a brief usability questionnaire to a subgroup (n = 65) of app users. Results The smartphone-based app demonstrated excellent sensitivity (0.970), specificity (0.935), and accuracy (0.951) for real-time identification of an irregular pulse during AF. The app also showed good accuracy for PAC (0.955) and PVC discrimination (0.960). The vast majority of surveyed app users (83%) reported that it was "useful" and "not complex" to use. Conclusion A smartphone app can accurately discriminate pulse recordings during AF from sinus rhythm, PACs, and PVCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-57
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • atrial fibrillation
  • detection
  • premature beats
  • smartphone
  • technology


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