15 Oct Smartphone App Can Screen For Atrial Fibrillation
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Ngai-yin Chan
Princess Margaret Hospital
Lai Chi Kok, Hong Kong
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained heart rhythm disorder which can cause stroke, heart failure and an increased risk of death. The risk of stroke can be reduced substantially with drug treatment. However, a quarter of patients with AF causing stroke have silent and asymptomatic AF before stroke. The current guidelines recommend opportunistic screening for AF. Whether systematic community screening for AF with a convenient smartphone ECG can reduce the burden of AF remains unknown.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: From our study, we have shown that community screening forAtrial fibrillation with a smartphone-based wireless single-lead ECG was feasible and it identified a significant proportion of citizens with newly diagnosed Atrial fibrillation. On the other hand, we have found that the prevalence of AF in a Chinese population in Hong Kong was comparable with that of contemporary Western counterparts. Apart from age and sex, different anthropometric parameters and cardiovascular comorbid conditions were identified as independent predictors or risk factors for Atrial fibrillation.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: We would like to inform the readers that community screening for AF with smartphone ECG is feasible and can identify a meaningful proportion of citizens with newly diagnosed AF due to the fact that Atrial fibrillation is commonly asymptomatic. Whether systematic community screening for AF, as opposed to the current recommendation of opportunistic screening, becomes a very important question to answer with future studies.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: In fact, the current study serves as a pilot and gives us an idea whether a meaningful number of citizens with newly diagnosed AF can be picked up by community screening with a convenient smartphone ECG. We have already completed recruitment of a 2nd stage study with over another 10,000 citizens screened with a smartphone ECG for Atrial fibrillation. Citizens with newly diagnosed AF will be followed up for subsequent medical consultation, treatment received and compliance to the treatment. This hopefully will bring us closer to the answer of whether community screening for AF with a smartphone ECG can reduce the burden of stroke or not.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Another important finding from our study is that we have identified age as a convenient and a very predictive factor for newly diagnosed Atrial fibrillation in community screening. When a cut-off threshold of 60 or above was used, there was a 98% sensitivity and 29.2% specificity in detecting newly diagnosed AF.
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Heart heartjnl-2016-309993Published Online First: 12 October 2016 doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2016-309993
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