Strokes are a major cause of death and disability in the UK. Up to a third of strokes are caused by blood clots that form as a result of heart arrhythmia, particularly Atrial Fibrillation (AF). These AF-related strokes also tend to be more serious, and have greater impact on patients' lives than non-AF strokes. In patients with known AF and additional risk factors, tried and tested anticoagulants are used to significantly reduce the risk of a stoke occurring.
The diagnosis of AF is therefore a key step to preventing strokes.
AF can be symptomatic, or asymptomatic, and can be persistent or paroxysmal (comes and goes). Mobile ECG technology can be used for fast screening in clinics, or loaned to patients. It has the capacity to improve diagnosis and therefore prevent strokes.
The Innovation and Technology Tarriff (ITT ) has included Mobile ECG devices for detection of AF for 2017/18, and AHSN ‘s have been asked to manage the distribution and monitoring of use in their locality.
In Wessex it is agreed, through discussion with our AF professional advisory group, that AliveCor's Kardia device will be the mobile-ECG technology distributed locally. We have been given an allocation of funding based on population size. This will purchase a total of 340 devices for Wessex.
We are now received expressions of interest from NHS organisations across Wessex, and allocated devices across 17 organisations accordingly.
We will be sharing our learning from this project.
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