Together with NHS England, the Academic Health Science Network is delivering 6000 technologies including mobile ECG devices to help detect people with AF.
At least 422, 600 people in England are undiagnosed with the most common type of irregular heart rhythm, atrial fibrillation (AF), which could cause a stroke.
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 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) included Mobile ECG devices for detection of AF for 2017/18, and AHSNs were asked to manage the distribution and monitoring of use in their locality.
Wessex AF Programme Advisory Group selected the AliveCor device for Wessex and distribution of these devices Wessex completed in March 2019.
During the roll out of 350 AliveCor Mobile ECG devices 311 people in wessex with AF were detected from a total of 2977 recordings (10% Detection). However, not all devices were registered for AHSN data collection so the total detected could be higher.
During the project we found that devices were most effective when used in Long Term Condition clinics, Flu Clinics and with practitioners who home visited, such as proactive care teams, Paramedics, out of hours doctors etc.
An evaluation report of the roll out programme will be available in the autumn of 2019
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