The smart technology helping GPs detect and prevent strokes | News

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The smart technology helping GPs detect and prevent strokes

Picture of alivecor AF detection

NHS West Hampshire CCG is working with over 350 local GPs across 50 practices[1] to introduce smart technology to increase the detection of atrial fibrillation (AF) and prevent AF-related strokes.

AF is a common condition, affecting older people where an irregular heart beat leads to life-threatening health problems, especially stroke. However, many people with AF are unaware they have the condition.?

People with AF are five times more likely to suffer a stroke than those without the condition. AF-related strokes are more severe and more likely to be fatal. By detecting and treating AF, the risk of stroke can be reduced by 70%.

West Hampshire CCG has purchased smart technology for all local GPs:

  • WatchBP, a simple blood pressure device that detects AF when taking a blood pressure
  • Alivecor, which runs a simple test during GP appointments

Patients place their fingertips on to receptive pads which then transmit heart information (electrocardiogram ) via Bluetooth to an enabled smartphone or tablet, which shows if there is an irregular heart rhythm.

Dr Chris Arden, Cardiovascular Lead for West Hampshire CCG, said:

‘’These are fast, effective diagnostic devices we can use in GP surgeries to receive instant results, avoiding patients having to wait or visit hospitals. Working smarter is improving patient care’’

West Hampshire has seen 37 fewer strokes since 2014/15 and 5,000 patients have had their stroke risk significantly reduced by improving their medicines.

There are an estimated 4,000 people with AF in the West Hampshire CCG area with undiagnosed AF – and it is the CCG’s mission to find them and help prevent stroke.

[1] In the New Forest and Andover, Winchester, Romsey and Eastleigh towns and villages.