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GM AHSN: Salford CCG Atrial fibrillation (AF) Prevalence Project (AliveCor)

By zulfi jiva, Greater Manchester AHSN Added 29th Mar, 2016 Updated 23rd Jul, 2019

The project provides all clinicians in the Eccles and Irlam area (Salford) with a hand-held AF detection device to be used in conjunction with a smart phone – the AliveCor Mobile ECG device. Opportunistic screening of all patients over 40 years of age will be conducted with each contact to detect undiagnosed Atrial Fibrillation and improve prevalence scores.


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia (1.6% of general population) and presents in more than 10% of patients aged ≥75 years or over and rises to 17.8% in ≥85 year olds. It significantly increases morbidity and mortality. The main significance of AF is as a major independent risk factor for stroke and thromboembolism, particularly in older patients. The annual risk of stroke is five to six times greater in AF patients. Undiagnosed AF puts patients at risk and denies them the opportunity for adequate and effective management, increasing the risk of complications such as heart failure, as well as sudden death.

“Measures are needed to enhance early detection of atrial fibrillation, through increased awareness coupled with targeted screening programmes and risk factor-specific prevention.” (50 year trends in atrial fibrillation prevalence, incidence, risk factors, and mortality in the Framingham Heart Study: a cohort study, July 2015)

This pilot aims to test the use of a device in primary care, which links to an App and a smart phone to detect Atrial Fibrillation by asking patients to hold the instrument for 30 seconds. The use of this simple, hand-held device - the AliveCor Mobile ECG - allows instant detection and diagnosis.

All clinicians within Eccles & Irlam would be equipped with a device to opportunistically screen all patients >40 years old, without an existing diagnosis of AF. It is envisaged that as detection rates increase, so too will anti-coagulation and therefore stroke prevention rates

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