Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is the most common type of heart arrhythmia. AFib occurs when the heart beats too slowly, too fast, or irregularly. The CDC estimates 2.7 to 6.1 million people in the U.S have the condition today, with the numbers expected to increase as the population ages. AFib causes more than 750,000 hospitalizations and about 130,000 deaths each year, at an estimated annual cost of $6 billion. People with AFib have four to five times greater risk of strokes than those without the condition. The death rate associated with AFib has risen for more than two decades. Measuring heart rate metrics with ECG exams in a physician’s office and continuous monitoring with hospital equipment provide helpful data about AFib patients, but each method has disadvantages. One-time exams provide limited information and may not capture intermittent irregularities. Hospitalization disrupts patient’s lives. Unfortunately, anything other than continuous monitoring hinders precise diagnosis of hard-to-detect paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and can delay or prevent appropriate treatment.
Medicalgorithmics S.A.’s PocketECG claims to be a complete mobile arrhythmia monitoring solution that continuously streams complete ECG data while it frees patients to follow their normal schedules. The 3-lead, smartphone-sized device streams complete data, analysis, and reporting. PocketECG captures and transmits up to 30 days of full ECG-signal data, including the onset and offset of every arrhythmia. The device classifies every heartbeat’s morphology. Also, an onboard accelerometer identifies heart rate changes due to physical activity rather than from arrhythmia. Patients can record symptoms by tapping menu items on the device’s touchscreen. PocketECG gives medical professionals continuous reporting on heart rate and arrhythmia during activity, post-activity, and inactivity. Clinicians can use the data to correlate symptoms with events for precise diagnosis and treatment.
PocketECG is already on the market worldwide. Medicalgorithmics reports the device is currently in a study evaluating online versus offline ECG monitoring to diagnose paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.