By Angelika Leute, Kompetenznetz Vorhofflimmern eV (AFNET)
Consumer electronics provide a new avenue for the detection of atrial arrhythmias. A study offered a smartphone and wearable continuous arrhythmia screening for older adults with no known atrial fibrillation. Atrial arrhythmias were detected in five percent of the participants. The study was conducted by AFNET. The principal investigator was Professor Larissa Fabritz, University of Birmingham and University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Hamburg, Germany.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common type of arrhythmia and a growing epidemic. It affects several million people in Europe, mostly the elderly. In many people the arrhythmia is asymptomatic and often goes unnoticed for a long time. This can be dangerous because the risk of stroke and other complications may be higher in older adults with atrial arrhythmias – even if the arrhythmia appears only temporarily and goes unnoticed by the person concerned.
Timely detection of arrhythmias could enable early treatment to prevent complications, for example by starting anticoagulation in order to prevent strokes. Therefore, experts advise screening in the elderly in order to systematically look for arrhythmias. Modern smartphone-related wearables provide a new avenue for this.
The Smart in OAC-AFNET 9 study (Smartphone and Wearable Arrhythmia Detection in Older Adults) provided continuous arrhythmia screening for people over 65 without knowing Atrial fibrillation Not receiving oral anticoagulants. The study was conducted in Germany, Poland and Spain during the COVID pandemic in 2021. 882 older adults between the ages of 65 and 90 participated and recorded signs.
Explaining the background of the study, Prof. Fabritz explained, “Simple and scalable methods for identifying atrial arrhythmias in the population at risk are needed to enable timely detection of atrial fibrillation and initiation of treatment. Therefore, we conducted the Smart in OAC-AFNET 9 study and evaluated the usability of a digital system Complete screening for arrhythmias in the elderly.
Seniors were invited to participate in different ways. The majority of participants were reached through media campaigns in newspapers and television or through word of mouth and town hall meetings Senior citizens. The remaining participants were attracted by the posts identified by general practitioners Knowledge of the study, website, outpatient clinics, or pharmacies.
Participants received a wristband with a pulse-detecting sensor paired with an app on their smartphone, enabling continuous, fully remote rhythm monitoring for up to eight weeks. Remote participation was necessary in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Arrhythmias were detected in 44 participants (5%) within 28 days. Detection of atrial arrhythmias was higher in the first week of observation than in subsequent weeks. only in a few persons, Arrhythmia It occurred for the first time after more than four weeks.
Professor Fabritz concluded: “Smart in OAC – AFNET 9 has successfully used a smartphone and wearable system to detect arrhythmias in the elderly in several European countries. Offers of remote technical assistance were accepted and compliance was high, demonstrating feasibility this age group.”
“Our screening identified atrial arrhythmias in 5% of the elderly. Detection rates were high in the first week of monitoring, and then decreased, suggesting that relatively short monitoring periods may be sufficient to detect elderly patients with an arrhythmia. heartbeat.These results encourage the use of fully digital, Electronics consumers Systems based screening for atrial arrhythmias in unselected patients the elderly. ”
Submitted by Kompetenznetz Vorhofflimmern eV (AFNET)
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