Journal scan

Smartphone app could test for atrial fibrillation

A Smartphone app used in conjunction with a heart monitor could test for atrial fibrillation, say researchers from the Princess Margaret Hospital in Hong Kong. 
smartphone

A Smartphone app used in conjunction with a heart monitor could test for atrial fibrillation, say researchers from the Princess Margaret Hospital in Hong Kong.

Between May 2014 and April 2015, they tested more than 13,000 adults in Hong Kong for atrial fibrillation (AF), using a Smartphone app combined with a hand-held, wireless, single lead electrocardiogram (ECG).

The 30-second test picked up 101 cases of AF that had not been previously diagnosed. The result was uninterpretable in just 56 (0.4%) of those tested.

The researchers found that AF was symptomless in two thirds of the cases picked up, but their combined risk scores suggested that treatment would have been beneficial.

Increasing age (60 and older), male sex, weight and a history of heart disease and peripheral

...

A Smartphone app used in conjunction with a heart monitor could test for atrial fibrillation, say researchers from the Princess Margaret Hospital in Hong Kong. 

Between May 2014 and April 2015, they tested more than 13,000 adults in Hong Kong for atrial fibrillation (AF), using a Smartphone app combined with a hand-held, wireless, single lead electrocardiogram (ECG). 


A common heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation is associated with an
increased risk of stroke. Picture: IStock

The 30-second test picked up 101 cases of AF that had not been previously diagnosed. The result was uninterpretable in just 56 (0.4%) of those tested. 

The researchers found that AF was symptomless in two thirds of the cases picked up, but their combined risk scores suggested that treatment would have been beneficial.

Increasing age (60 and older), male sex, weight and a history of heart disease and peripheral vascular disease are all predictive of AF. 

A common heart rhythm disorder, AF is associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart failure and death, but appropriate treatment can cut the risk of stroke by up to 70%. 

Current guidelines from the European Society of Cardiology recommend opportunistic screening for AF, but researchers said the study findings indicated that systematic mass screening might be feasible instead. 

‘A systematic population-based ECG screening for AF, instead of an opportunistic approach, may lead to a reduction in the incidence of stroke in the community,’ they said, adding that a clinical trial is needed to test this approach. 


Chan NY and Choy CC (2016). Screening for atrial fibrillation in 13,122 Hong Kong citizens with smartphone electrocardiogram. Heart. doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2016-309993

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs