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Smartphones could help detect heart issues before a stroke

Source: AAP

Smartphone technology can be used to monitor for signs of atrial fibrillation or AF, a heart arrythmia that increases the risk of a stroke happening again. A world first international study led by the Royal Melbourne Hospital has shown portable smart phone monitoring is more than twice as effective as the current method.

People with AF, a condition that makes the heart beat irregularly, increasing the chance of blood clots forming that can then travel to the brain, are five times more likely to have a stroke compared with those who don’t.

Professor Bernard Yan, a Royal Melbourne Hospital neurologist, says early detection of AF is crucial for stroke patients.

“The detection of atrial defibrillation will mean we can change the patients treatment and in so decrease the risk of a recurrent stroke.”

It takes around 20 second compared with 24 hours for the previous method, and results are available immediately without needing a diagnosis from a cardiologist. Professor Yan says the technology allows any signs of AF to be picked up as soon as they present.

“It’s all done by the device itself and we believe that this is more efficient and more expeditious as opposed to the Holter monitor that requires a cardiologist to look through it.”

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