ECG measurement parameters of athletes are reliable when made with a smartphone based ECG device.

Pre-participation cardiac screening including electrocardiogram (ECG) is a subject of controversy among sports medicine practitioners. Opponents of pre-participation ECG screen site concerns regarding the cost and accuracy of the testing. Recently, a single lead ECG accessory has become available for use with smartphones. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the between and within rater validity and reliability of the Kardia device in recording the ECG parameters rate, rhythm, and PR, QRS, and QT intervals. The ECG parameter made with the smartphone were also compared to same measures made using a 12 lead electrocardiograph.

This investigation used a repeated measures cross-sectional design. The investigation was conducted in 2 separate phases using separate participant samples. Phase 1 (N=10) was used to determine the within rater reliability with the Kardia device. Phase 2 (N=12) was used to determine the reliability between the Kardia device and the 12 lead electrocardiograph.

The between rater and between device reliability for the rate, QT interval and QRS duration parameters ranged good to very good (ICC = 0.667 – 0.981). The current investigation showed that the reliability of the ECG parameters measured using the smartphone technology ranged from good to very good. This paper serves as support for a technological advancement that will help advance the debate on the utility of ECG testing as part of the athletic pre-participation physical.