Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is the most common heart rhythm disorder, reaching more than 40 million people worldwide.
The condition poses a five times higher risk of strokebut is often difficult to detect.
So far, studies have shown the potential of smart devices for large-scale screening for atrial fibrillation but have made no comparison with conventional screening.
However new search presented at the 2022 Congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), found that screening for atrial fibrillation using conventional smartphones more than doubles the rate of detection and treatment in older adults, compared to screening routine.
Increased detection rate
The eBRAVE-AF Triala study of 5,551 elderly people at risk of stroke, saw participants randomly assigned to either a digital or conventional screening strategy for atrial fibrillation over six months.
Participants in the digital screening downloaded an app to their smartphone that measured pulse wave irregularities using the phone. photoplethysmographic (PPG) sensor.
Professor Axel Bauer from the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria, presented the details of the study at the ESC congress, which took place in Barcelona in August this year.
He explained that the digital screening was well received by older participants, who tended to take more PPG measurements than younger study participants.
“Screening using common smartphones has significantly increased the detection rate of treatment-relevant atrial fibrillation,” Professor Bauer concluded.
A change of direction
Across the healthcare industry, technology and product advances are supporting patient diagnosis and care, with data collected through remote monitoring being used to create clearer pictures of health conditions and improve the experience. patients.
There has also been an increasing shift in focus from electrocardiogram (ECG)-based signals to the type of PPG-based biosignals common to wearable devices.
An example is the US digital healthcare company iRhythm Technologieswhich recently received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its Zio ECG Utilization Software (ZEUS) system, which works with a wearable device to monitor patients with atrial fibrillation.
Tech Giants Apple and Fitbit also entered the AFib detection and tracking space, while South Korean company Sky Labs established CART-I smart ringwhich helps to detect atrial fibrillation in patients.
Better signal quality
The CART-I smart wearable heart rate monitoring device uses PPG signals to measure heart rate from 24/7 blood flow screening. Long-term changes can be detected and transmitted to the doctor by the CART-I smart ring.
“With CART-I, the patient can collect their own data and easily transfer this continuous, real-time data to the physician,” explained Jack Lee, CEO of Sky Labs.
Studies have recognized that the finger offers greater sensitivity for the sensors, with more accurate and better signal quality, because it has a higher atrial blood flow volume than other parts of the body.
The evolution of CART-I is set to continue next year with the release of a new smart ring feature that will measure blood pressure without any user intervention.
“It will offer continuous blood pressure measurement, even when a person is sleeping and unaware of the device’s operation,” Lee explained. “By helping to manage hypertension, we can prevent strokes.”