Pharmaceutical company Bayer PLC has awarded the South West Academic Health Science Network over £5,000 to help detect irregular heart rhythms among people living in Devon.
The funding, nearly £5,500 in total, will be used by the podiatry team at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust to purchase tablets to help detect atrial fibrillation (AF) – the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia.
The new tablets will enable use of pulse check apps including KardiaMobile, an app which uses a patient’s fingers to detect common heart arrhythmias, and AliveCor – a small handheld device which can be pressed against a patient’s skin to record their heart rhythm. Podiatrists can detect atrial fibrillation in patients by checking the pulse in their feet.
According to Public Health England (2017), people with AF have a five-times higher risk of stroke. Up to 66% of AF-related strokes, the most devastating form of stroke, could be averted with treatment.
The South West Academic Health Science Network, alongside the 14 other Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) in England are working together to support improvements in AF detection and practice.
For more information about our work on atrial fibrillation, please visit our page.