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First smartphone-based ECG recommended by public health body
Supplied/AliveCor
Health & Care

First smartphone-based ECG recommended by public health body 

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued medical technologies guidance 64 (MTG64) recommending KardiaMobile as an option for detecting atrial fibrillation (AF).

This is for people with suspected paroxysmal AF, who present with symptoms such as palpitations and are referred for ambulatory ECG monitoring by a clinician.

KardiaMobile is the first personal ECG to be recommended by NICE for use within the National Health Service (NHS) in England and Wales.

KardiaMobile would be prescribed by a healthcare professional for people experiencing arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm) symptoms more than 24 hours apart. The instructions for use state that all interpretations of ECG recordings are reviewed by a healthcare professional and used to support clinical decision making.

AF, the most common form of arrhythmia , is a leading cause of AF-related stroke. Almost half of the 1.3 million people in the UK living with AF are undiagnosed, leaving them particularly at risk of suffering the life-changing, and often devastating, effects of this serious form of stroke.

Stroke detection and prevention is key to the NHS Long Term Plan, in efforts to save thousands of lives and reduce the staggering costs of disease – approximately £3 billion per year direct costs to the NHS, with further £4 billion to the UK economy in lost productivity, disability and informal care.

RCEM Professor Matt Reed, consultant and NRS fellow in emergency medicine, NHS Lothian, said: “AF diagnosis rates across the UK pre-pandemic were already too low. With difficulties in accessing in-person care and increased waiting times, concern is that diagnosis rates have fallen further, leaving thousands of people at risk of life-threatening cardiovascular complications, such as an AF-related stroke.

“With the NHS over-stretched, it is encouraging that NICE has recognised the value of utilising smart technology to support clinicians. Today’s recommendation of KardiaMobile – a clinically-validated digital tool to allow people to monitor their heart rhythm at home, avoiding the need for hospital appointments – is a great step forward for cardiac services.”

Trudie Lobban MBE, founder and trustee of Arrhythmia Alliance & AF Association, said: “Many people experience various symptoms but do not realise it may be a heart rhythm disorder such as AF. If medical attention is not sought it leaves them exposed to a much higher risk of AF-related stroke. KardiaMobile can be used to monitor a person’s heart rhythm at any time, regardless of whether or not people show signs or symptoms of AF.”

She added: “This ultimately means AF can be detected faster, leading to a quicker diagnosis and therefore more lives being protected against AF-related stroke and consequences of suffering with AF.”

KardiaMobile is the world’s most clinically-validated personal ECG. Unlike traditional ECGs, KardiaMobile provides a compact, patchless and wireless solution that can be used at any time and anywhere.

The user starts a 30-second ECG recording on their smartphone via the Kardia app – by placing two fingers from each hand on each of the two top electrodes – enabling the patient to remotely capture a medical-grade recording of their heart activity.

KardiaMobile provides instant detection of AF, bradycardia and tachycardia, which are leading indicators of cardiovascular disease. KardiaMobile can also detect normal heart rhythm, offering users peace of mind.       

The NICE MTG recommendation can be found here: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/mtg64       

For more information about AliveCor, visit alivecor.co.uk.      

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