How tech is helping to spot the heart condition you didn't know you had
Whether you're sitting at home scrolling social media, pushing yourself on a Couch to 5K run, or going for a socially distanced walk with friends, your heart is constantly beating. Each heartbeat is triggered through a series electrical impulses that stimulate the various sections of your heart as it pumps blood through your body. However this isn't always regular, and an abnormal heart rhythm is known as an arrhythmia.
Arrhythmias or heart rhythm problems are experienced by more than 2 million people a year in the UK
The most common arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation (AFib/AF ). People with AF are at a much higher risk of serious health conditions, and the typically transient nature makes it difficult to detect in hospital visits. Given these challenges, it's no surprise the biggest names in health and consumer technology are racing to find the best solution
The most effective way to diagnose an arrhythmia is with an electrical recording of your heart rhythm called an electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG). Typically an ECG was only accessible in a clinical environment, either in the more common 10 second recording or occasionally with a longer 24h Holter monitor. B-Secur’s HeartKey® empowers devices, such as wearables, that allow you to take spot checks routinely or remotely manage known arrhythmia over longer periods of time, to provide more data and make better medical decisions.
In the last decade wearable technology with integrated ECG has been explored to provide consumers with more control on their individual health and generate more data for their doctors.
"Heart rhythm conditions are very common and many of us will have experienced symptoms of skipped heart beats or flutters on occasions. Most of the time these symptoms are caused by safe changes in our heart rhythm caused by extra or ectopic heart beats. Other heart conditions can cause minor symptoms but, left untreated, can increase the risk of stroke or heart failure.
It is vital for next generation devices to have accurate heart rhythm identification to meet this growing need and ensure heart conditions are not missed or ignored.
Lowering the risks of Arrhythmia
It is not always possible to prevent arrhythmia developing, although a healthy lifestyle can lower your risk of developing a heart condition. Lifestyle changes from exercise and sleeping more to reducing stress levels, can help you avoid some of the triggers for your heart rhythm problem.
Wearables provide a preventative approach as opposed to a reactive one. This opportunity to generate a health summary including heart rate, physical activity, and trends creates a comprehensive personalised care plan that the patient can control and the clinic can track.
Managing Arrhythmia using wearables
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the acceptance of wearable technology for remote healthcare and looks set to increase in the aftermath.
Wearables like smartwatches offer a stylish and non-invasive method of empowering people with the gold standard tool for heart healthcare.
B-Secur are consistently completing deep research into key physiological and electrochemical mechanisms governing ECG signal acquisition, to ensure newly FDA cleared HeartKey® is an optimal product, with a competitive edge.
The HeartKey® Arrhythmia Detection algorithm includes Atrial Fibrillation, Bradycardia, and Tachycardia and builds on the world class Signal Conditioning and accurate Peak Detection stages. Using this foundation, HeartKey® automatically analyses incoming ECG and determines if an arrhythmia may be present which ultimately can help save lives.
Having technology available to people at home for detection and management allows doctors to vastly increase the data they have allowing them to make much more accurate clinical decisions.