AF Detection Devices

The use of digital devices in clinical practice to detect AF has been increasing rapidly over the past few years, as have the number of different devices available on the market.

Although the value of a manual pulse check should not be overlooked, many of these devices are proven to be more sensitive and specific, for Atrial Fibrillation and other arrythmias, than a manual check alone. In some instances, they can reduce the requirement for 12 lead ECG to confirm diagnosis by enhancing the accuracy of referrals, and they have proven useful in remote consultations and high impact settings such as community pharmacies and flu clinics.

There are many case studies in this section which demonstrate the variety of settings in which pulse checks with detection devices can be undertaken, and how this can be delivered to best effect.

Some devices possess the ability to record ECG readings of the heart’s electrical activity which can be shared via an app or email to support referral and the diagnosis of paroxysmal AF. These devices may provide a single time point recording, or as in the case of patch monitors, a continuous recording over a longer period, for example 14 days.

Patch monitors are often provided as part of a package which includes the interpretation and swift reporting of the recording by a Cardiologist. Patch monitors are gaining popularity and in some cases are replacing traditional Holter monitoring.

As with all digital technologies, when introducing digital AF detection devices, providers must consider data protection and security, and GDPR regulation should always be adhered to.

As with all digital technologies, when introducing digital AF detection devices providers, must consider data protection and security, and GDPR regulation should always be adhered to. Consideration should also be given to the impact these devices have on the overall patient pathway, and how their use may require other elements, such as anticoagulation prescribing, to be improved.

In 2018, the AHSN network undertook a large-scale project to understand more about the spread and adoption of digital AF detection technology. The full evaluation report and project documents are included in the case studies below and these provide useful insight into a variety of clinical environments in which these devices were used, the different technologies themselves and key lessons learned. Moreover, the spread, adoption and sustainability of these technologies is dependent on the individuals themselves, the level of support provided and the surrounding infrastructure to support them.

Featured Resources

Independent evaluation of the AHSN Network mobile ECG roll-out programme

The national roll out of mobile ECG devices by Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) was born out of a system-wide procurement ... read more

Atrial fibrillation and heart valve disease: self-monitoring coagulation status using point-of-care coagulometers (the CoaguChek XS system)

read more

Diabetes Podiatry and Atrial Fibrillation

Pilot work in County Durham & Darlington showed that for every 500 people having their annual diabetes foot check, 1 new ... read more

Using Kardia by AliveCor

Tips to take a good reading using the AliveCor. Including possible outcomes and recommended action. read more

Lead-I ECG devices for detecting symptomatic atrial fibrillation using single time point testing in primary care

Evidence-based recommendations on lead-I electrocardiogram (ECG) devices (imPulse, Kardia Mobile, MyDiagnostick and Zenicor-ECG) for ... read more

HIN AF Detection Device Review Link

Health Innovation Network’s AF Detection Devices Review – This report aims to capture current practice, summarise the ... read more

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