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TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Smartphone can be used to save lives


A new heart-monitoring device which connects to a smartphone has been proven to be effective at discovering heart problems

A new heart-monitoring device which connects to a smartphone could save lives.

Research funded by Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS) and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has shown a smartphone-based ECG recorder could be five-times more effective at discovering heart problems than other technology.

The research led by Dr Matt Reed from Emergency Medicine Research Group Edinburgh (EMERGE) at NHS Lothian found that by using a smartphone-based ECG recorder, which records a person’s heart rhythm and electrical activity, patients are five times more likely to receive a diagnosis than those receiving current standard care.

The development could save thousands of lives across the UK as people often go for months, and sometimes years, without a diagnosis.

The device means patients can monitor their heart rhythm on the go, making them more likely to catch the palpitation as they happen, which is vital for providing a diagnosis.

Dr Reed said: “This large independent UK study has demonstrated that a smartphone-based ECG recorder is five times more effective at diagnosing the cause of symptoms than current standard care. The NHS needs to ensure that this relatively cheap but hugely effective technology, rapidly becomes part of routine care for these patients.”

Jane-Claire Judson, chief executive of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, said: “It’s fantastic to see the life-changing benefits that the research our generous supporters have funded has on people’s lives.

“With over 300,000 people in the UK presenting to the emergency department with palpitations and near blackout every year, this device could save thousands of lives.

“This device, which is so easy to use, could give people the security that their symptoms are being recorded and lead to that much needed diagnosis.

“It is vital that it is rolled out across Scotland so that people don’t have to live their lives in fear and wait years for a diagnosis which could transform their lives.”

Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Palpitations are normally a temporary but noticeable rapid or irregular fluttering of the heartbeat. These need to be investigated by a doctor, either to reassure people experiencing them that they are harmless or to diagnose and treat any underlying heart problem.

“By taking advantage of the tech that we carry around in our pockets every day, this cutting-edge device makes sure that it’s easy for people experiencing palpitations to directly record their heartbeat. They can then relay the information rapidly to a doctor and improve their diagnosis.

“This device could spare people from further anxiety, save the NHS money and, more importantly, save lives.”



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Dr Phillip Neville
over 1 year ago
How do people access the device?