New tech aims to prevent strokes in the Burnham-On-Sea area
250 new mobile electrocardiogram (ECG) devices are now being distributed
to GP practices, community teams and other healthcare practitioners
across the NHS in the South West, including in the Burnham-On-Sea
new devices detect irregular heart rhythms quickly and easily, enabling
NHS staff to refer patients for follow up as they could be at risk
of severe stroke.
estimate that more than 13,500 people across the South West have
an undiagnosed irregular heart rhythm, which can cause a stroke
if not detected and treated appropriately, usually through blood-thinning
medication to prevent clots that lead to stroke.
rollout coincides with National Heart Month, which runs during February
and raises awareness of heart conditions, and encourages everyone
to make small changes towards a healthier lifestyle.
new technology includes a smartphone-linked device that works via
an app and a new blood pressure monitor that also detects heart
rhythms. Small and easy-to-use, NHS staff can also take the devices
on home visits to patients to check for irregular heart rhythms.
new technology allows more staff to quickly and easily conduct pulse
checks. The new mobile devices provide a far more sensitive and
specific pulse check than a manual check and this reduces costly
and unnecessary 12 lead ECGs to confirm diagnosis.
a result, the South West project is expected to identify over 2,500
new cases of irregular heart rhythms (known as Atrial Fibrillation)
over two years, which could prevent around 70 strokes, potentially
save 18 lives and save over £1 million in associated health
Stephen Powis, Medical Director of NHS England, said: "Cardiovascular
disease kills more people in this country than anything else, but
there are steps we can all take to prevent it. These innovations
have enormous potential to prevent thousands of strokes each year,
which is why NHS England has committed to funding the rollout of
6,000 mobile ECG devices to help identify cases of atrial fibrillation
so behaviours can be changed and treatment started before strokes
are also encouraging people, during National Heart Month, to learn
how to check their own pulse so we can catch even more cases."
devices are being rolled out by the 15 NHS and care innovation bodies,
known as Academic Health Science Networks, in the first six months
of this year as part of an NHS England-funded project.