Digital Detection Drive

We’re working with NHS England and health and care settings across Kent, Surrey and Sussex to reduce the number of people at risk from Atrial Fibrillation related stroke.

Atrial Fibrillation is a major cause of severe strokes, but the treatable condition can go undetected – it’s estimated that more than 28,000 people may be living with undiagnosed AF in Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

The KSS AHSN Alliance for AF aims to reduce the number of people dying or being disabled by AF-related stroke by optimising the use of anticoagulants in line with NICE CG180 guidelines.

Alliance members provide Primary Care with a variety of interventions and education, to improve the detection of patients with AF using screening devices, performing timely anticoagulation reviews and ensuring patients are receiving appropriate care.

AliveCor Kardia goes live!

We’re now at the start of an exciting new chapter in our AF work, and have recently distributed 543 AliveCor Kardia mobile ECG devices across the region. They will be used in a range of settings including community pharmacies, GP practices, patients’ homes and hospitals, to carry out opportunistic pulse rhythm checks.

Jen Bayly, Cardiovascular Lead, KSS AHSN, is delivering the project. She said that mobile ECGs have been demonstrated as an effective, low cost solution for identifying new AF and reducing the risk of AF related strokes.

“The beauty of the AliveCor device is that they are quick and easy to use, require no specialist equipment or training, and provide a direct result that can easily be shared with GPs,” she said.

“By seeding the devices in a range of settings across the region we hope to be able to not only identify those with AF, but also raise awareness of the condition and open up conversations around the signs and symptoms to look out for.”

Tracking success

The devices are being distributed to practitioners most likely to see and examine patients who are at high risk of AF or AF related stroke, and would be able to build single lead ECG checks using the AliveCor devices into their workplans.

KSS AHSN will be closely monitoring their use, and will receive anonymous data for any checks that indicate possible AF tracings.

Information at practice level about where the devices are being used, the professional groups using them and how many possible AF cases have been identified, will be shown on a live map on the Alliance for AF web pages. This is also the place to find a wealth of information and resources on AF and the AliveCor project.

The initiative is part of a national drive to reduce strokes caused by AF, with NHS England procuring £500k worth of mobile ECG devices, which it has disseminated through the AHSN network.

Jen said that, as well as supporting the delivery of the project, she and her team will provide training and education events on the use of the devices, associated data requirements, the KSS AF Primary Care and Secondary Care treatment pathways, and educating others on the importance of pulse rhythm checks.

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