New heart monitoring device set to save 500 lives from stroke in region

The new KardiaMobile device, which can detect irregular heartbeats. Picture: ALIVECOR

The new KardiaMobile device, which can detect irregular heartbeats. Picture: ALIVECOR - Credit: ALIVECOR

Health leaders hope a new heart monitoring device that is being rolled out across the NHS will save 500 lives from stroke in the East of England.

KardiaMobile is about the size of a credit card and detects atrial fibrillation (AF) – a common irregular heart rhythm disorder that contributes to one in five strokes nationally.

In the east, more than 85,635 patients have a diagnosis of AF and 2,822 AF-related strokes were recorded in 2016-17.

However, it’s estimated that a further 32,358 people across the region have the condition but are not diagnosed.

KardiaMobile has been developed by AliveCor and is being introduced by NHS England via the country’s Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs).

Health commissioners in the East of England will receive 450 devices, which can be used in NHS settings including GP practices, hospitals and pharmacies.

Dr Amanda Buttery, who is the lead on the AF programme for the Eastern AHSN, said the ambition was to detect 17,000 new cases of AF and prevent 500 strokes across this region over the next two years.

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She added: “We are really happy to be involved in this programme because I think it’s a new technology that is quite cost effective and can bring benefits to lots of people in the region.”

The roll out of the devices through the NHS is predicted to save £11million for the eastern region in health costs.

Using a compatible smartphone or tablet device, KardiaMobile is able to record the electrical activity of the heart through a person’s fingertips.

The connected app delivers an accurate electrocardiogram (ECG) reading to a device in less than 30 seconds and will indicate whether a person has possible AF.

The app allows heart rhythm recordings to be viewed, saved and shared with healthcare professionals, allowing for faster detection and diagnosis of AF.

Once diagnosed with AF, patients can access treatments to prevent a stroke.

Francis White, vice president of AliveCor, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with the NHS. Providing our technology to GPs and hospitals around the UK offers a more efficient solution to AF diagnosis and may ultimately improve patient outcomes.”

The device can also be bought by the public online.

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