Single-lead ECGs (AliveCor) are a feasible, cost-effective and safer alternative to 12-lead ECGs in community diagnosis and monitoring of atrial fibrillation

Jonathan James Hyett Bray, Elin Fflur Lloyd, Firdaus Adenwalla, Sarah Kelly, Kathie Wareham, Julian P J Halcox
2021 BMJ Open Quality  
BackgroundCommunity management of atrial fibrillation (AF) often requires the use of electrocardiographic (ECG) investigation. Patients discharged following treatment of AF with fast ventricular response (fast AF) can require numerous ECGs to monitor rate and/or rhythm control. Single-lead ECGs have been proposed as a more convenient and relatively accurate alternative to 12-lead ECGs for rate/rhythm management and also diagnosis of AF. We aimed to examine the feasibility of using the AliveCor
more » ... ingle-lead ECG monitor for diagnosis and monitoring of AF in the community setting.MethodsDuring the course of 6 months, this evaluation of a clinical service improvement pathway used the AliveCor in management of patients requiring (1) follow-up ECGs for AF with previously documented rapid ventricular rate or (2) ECG confirmation of rhythm where AF was suspected. Twelve AliveCor devices provided to the acute community medical team were used to produce 30 s ECG rhythm strips (iECG) that were electronically sent to an overreading physician.ResultsSeventy-four patients (mean age 82 years) were managed on this pathway. (1) The AliveCor was successfully used to monitor the follow-up of 37 patients with fast AF, acquiring a combined total of 113 iECGs (median 1.5 ±3.75 per patient). None of these patients required a subsequent 12-lead ECG and this approach saved an estimate of up to £134.49 per patient. (2) Of 53 patients with abnormal pulses, the system helped identify 8 cases of new onset AF and 19 cases of previously known AF that had reverted from sinus back into AF.ConclusionsWe have demonstrated that the AliveCor system is a feasible, cost-effective, time-efficient and potentially safer alternative to serial 12-lead ECGs for community monitoring and diagnosis of AF.
doi:10.1136/bmjoq-2020-001270 pmid:33741652 fatcat:6dym2vorybavhnmzh4t2je2quq