by Angelika Leute, Kompetenznetz Vorhofflimmern eV (AFNET)
Consumer electronics is a new way to screen for atrial arrhythmias. One study offered smartphone monitoring and hand-held therapy to older adults with undiagnosed atrial fibrillation. Atrial arrhythmia was found in five percent of the participants. The survey was conducted by AFNET. Principal investigator is Professor Larissa Fabritz, University of Birmingham and University Hospital Hamburg Eppendorf (UKE), Hamburg, Germany.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common and epidemic arrhythmia. It affects several million people in Europe, mostly adults. In most people the arrhythmia is asymptomatic and often goes undetected for a long time. This is dangerous because it increases the risk of stroke and other complications in older adults with atrial arrhythmias—even if the arrhythmia is temporary and undetectable. .
Accurate detection of atrial arrhythmias allows early treatment to prevent complications, for example by starting therapy to prevent strokes. Therefore, experts recommend screening the elderly population systematically for arrhythmias. The new smart phone-connected wearables are a new way of doing this.
The OAC Study—AFNET 9 (Smartphone and Wearable Atrial Arrhythmia Detection in Older Adults) is a routine screening for atrial arrhythmia in people over 65 years of age. atrial fibrillation is not recognized without receiving oral ventilation. The study was carried out in Germany, Poland and Spain during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. 882 elderly people between the ages of 65 and 90 participated and recorded symptoms.
Professor Fabritz explained the background of the study, “Simple methods, which can identify atrial arrhythmias in high-risk populations are needed to be able to detect AF and start treatment. the use of a digital detection system for atrial arrhythmias in adults.”
Senior citizens were invited to participate in a variety of ways. Most of the participants were reached through newspaper and television advertisements, word of mouth and town hall meetings for senior citizens. The rest of the participants were recruited by advertisements, referred by general experts familiar with the study, the website, outpatient clinics, and pharmacies.
Participants were given a wristband with a pulse detection sensor connected to an app on their smartphone, which allowed them to monitor their heart rate for eight weeks. Remote participation is important in understanding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Atrial arrhythmia was detected in 44 participants (5%) within 28 days. Atrial arrhythmia was detected more often in the first week of monitoring than in the following weeks. In some people, arrhythmia occurs for the first time after four weeks.
Professor Fabritz concluded, “Smart in OAC—AFNET 9 successfully used a smartphone and a virtual system to detect atrial arrhythmias in elderly people in several countries of Europe. .”
“Our investigation identified atrial arrhythmias in 5% of older adults. Detection rates were high during the first week of monitoring, and were reduced thereafter, suggesting that time is sufficient brief screening to detect older adults with atrial arrhythmias. use of all digital, electronic systems to screen for atrial arrhythmias in undiagnosed adults.”
By Kompetenznetz Vorhofflimmern eV (AFNET)
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