Digital healthcare company aims to redefine the detection and diagnosis of cardiac abnormalities
Digital healthcare company, iRhythm Technologies, has launched in the UK to support the identification and superior clinical diagnoses of cardiac arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation (AF), the most-common form of irregular heartbeat.
Around 1.2 million people in the UK are registered with atrial fibrillation, with nearly half a million (422,600) predicted to have AF undiagnosed, according to Public Health England.
AF is known to increase a patient’s stroke risk by five times, contributing to just under one in five strokes in the UK.
And there are more than 100,000 strokes in the UK each year, causing 38,000 deaths, making it a leading cause of death and disability.
Strokes are estimated to cost the NHS around £3billion per year, with additional costs to the economy of a further £ billion in lost productivity, disability, and informal care.
Despite some arrhythmias having the potential to cause life-threatening health issues; the process of detecting heart conditions such as AF, that can lead to a stroke, typically relies on outdated devices.
Conventional short-term monitoring methods, such as the Holter device, which is widely used to monitor for such heart conditions, misses over 50% of arrhythmias due to the short wear time of 24-48 hours.
The Holter is also a burden to clinicians and patients alike, as its usage often requires multiple appointments before an arrhythmia is discovered and managed, resulting in potentially-detrimental health impacts, as well as being uncomfortable for the patient.
To ensure diagnoses aren’t missed or delayed, iRhythm has launched its Zio service in the UK.
The Zio system is a small wearable heart monitor that attaches seamlessly to the patient’s chest for a period of up to 14 days – providing uninterrupted, comprehensive monitoring of a patient’s heartbeats as they go about their daily lives, including showering, sleeping, and exercising.
Underpinned by artificial intelligence (AI), the Zio patch detects arrhythmias, such as AF, at the first time of asking – and without the need for numerous patient visits.
Between June and August 2019, iRhythm identified an arrhythmia in 72% of patients that were issued monitors, with nearly one in 10 then going on to be diagnosed with AF.
Powered by the world’s-largest heart rhythm dataset, and curated by expert cardiac technicians; the data generated by the Zio device gives almost-complete certainty in a single test.
“AF is one of the most-important preventable risk factors for stroke disease”, said Justin Hall, vice president and general manager at iRhythm Technologies
“Patients who suffer an AF-related stroke often have poor outcomes – and we’re launching in the UK to change that.
“With access to such innovative digital technologies – which utilise AI to accurately and efficiently aid detection and diagnosis of arrhythmias, such as AF, at the first time of asking, we can eliminate the need for numerous patient visits due to indeterminate repeat tests, as well as significantly improving the patient experience.”