Heart monitor app adds health element to social media

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Dental student Katie Schwarts has an irregular heartbeat. She used to get regular electrocardiograms.

Now she uses her phone to record one and emails it to her doctor.

If it feels out of sync, a free app along with a miniature AliveCor monitor lets her check the status of her heart.

Now the creators of the app have teamed up with USC cardiologist Leslie Saxon and her colleagues to create the first mobile app that allows users to stamp their heart rate onto a photo that can be shared online.

Users simply record their heart rate, biostamp it onto a photo and post it.

"It gives them new insight into you as a person, gives you new insight into other people, provides another entertainment venue as well as providing you with health information," Saxon said.

ABC7 Eyewitness News intern and USC Annenberg graduate student Anna Sterling and her advisor Denise Guerra tried out the app while working under pressure.

"It's cool to see my heartrate jump from session to session. It's just a really interesting way to view my health at the moment," Guerra said.

The USC Center for Body Computing is conducting a long-term study with the AliveCor Heart Monitor to see what they can learn about cardiac health if thousands of people started sharing their heart rates on social media.

Researchers are giving the $75 monitor free to 5,000 participants. To participate in the study, click here.

Shcwartz said sharing her heart rate on social media doesn't appeal to her, but she feels safe knowing the power to save her life is in her hands.

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